Admittedly this playground situated in Howard Gardens is now looking a little worst for wear. However I found the freedom that the children seem to have been given to decorate their own playscape a really refreshing approach. These drawings also remind me of the side of the riverside community gardens cabin, which is partially covered in blackboard paint. Children use this wall to make chalk drawing with the chalk that is provided on site. These drawing are constantly adapting and changing around the children themselves. Again I think there is that sense of the children claiming some ownership over the site which is great.
This playground can be found in Bute park, in the heart of Cardiff city centre. The playground is flagged up by a giant tree fellow. All the apparatus interacts with its woodland setting, following the natural curves of the wood and taking inspiration from wildlife. I really love the way you unwittingly stumble upon this playground. Without any bars fencing off the sounding the area, this playground is as inviting to the adult as it is the child.
Many of the playgrounds I have visited in Cardiff have themes. Most commonly pirate themed. As an adult I can imagine when playing games with a child on this apparatus, I would automatically respond to the theme of the playground. However it has been said that children are in many ways more lateral minded than adults and do not have as many associations to certain objects. Therefore I wondered whether these themes actually did influence the children’s play when left to their own devices? If so, is the influence of a theme dependant on the age of a child in any way?
Artist Nils Norman is designing a new, exciting playground on the site of St Fagans. As my role as an assistant artist I will be gathering information on the playgrounds around Cardiff. I will also be conducting workshops to enable children visiting the site of St Fagans to share their thoughts and ideas about their new playground. If you have something you would like to comment on about any of the topics discussed on this blog then please do! Observations of your children’s play or memories of playing as a child, all contributions are welcome.