[Project] Playground for Motor Skills


[by Dorien de Groot]

I am designing playground equipment that stimulates the ball skill development of 6-8 year old girls.

For my graduation project I am designing playground equipment that will help the development of ball skills. It will be placed in an outdoor public area. The project is done for the company Jan Ooms, who is specialized in designing playgrounds, playground equipment and giving advice about playing. The focus will be on girls within the age group of six to eight years old.

Over-protection, electronic devices, external influences and fewer places for playing on the streets has caused our children to be less physically active. Research has shown that girls have less developed gross motor manipulative skills (ball skills) than boys. And boys  appear to be more physically active than girls. Having less developed motor skills has an impact on one’s confidence and motivation to participate in physical activity and sports. Many team sports and games done in PE lessons involve mastering ball skills. Since boys have better developed ball skills, they will have an advantage in these sort of activities. Resulting in girls becoming less active, less confidence etc. To create more equality and to enable girls to adopt a more physically active lifestyle it is important to improve their ball skills. On playgrounds, on fixed playground equipment, girls appear to be more physically active, whilst in other areas boys appear to be more active.  Girls also are better skilled in gymnastic related activities such as balancing and doing tricks on the tumble bar. To improve a girl’s ball skills it might be useful to link it to playground equipment to make it more appealing for them. External influences stimulate physical activity in children.

Key Questions

How to design playground equipment incorporating a ball without any loose materials?
How can balancing, and other skills girls are better at, be combined with throwing / catching a ball?

Skills Needed

Knowledge about (young) children.
Concept Development
Advanced prototyping

Project Reward [Non-Profit]

Since I am a student and I am doing this project for another company I am not able to offer any money. I can offer food, maybe bake a cake or a pie for your birthday? Or you can call me if you need any help with anything I have the ability to help you with. And off course when the product is placed and being used it will increase the physical activity and sport skills of our children!

Join us at the Creative Jam on January 11th

This project will be discussed along with 2 other projects at the Hub Eindhoven at the the next Open Creative Jam on January 11th 2014. It will be from 10.30 until 15.30. For more information visit our event page.

Other projects for Inspiration:

http://www.zoneparc.com/en/, http://www.cruyff-foundation.org/schoolplein14, http://www.beweegwijs.nl/