Handbooks

Explore our resource library of instructional guides on playground building and play advocacy.

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Playground-Starter-Kit

The Playground Starter Kit

This design scheme puts together some of our favorite, time-tested, low-cost elements into a beautiful space that inspires active, imaginative, social, creative, and open-ended play. In this design kit you’ll find the DIY step-by-step plans for each element, as well tips and advice for adapting the design to your own space and needs.

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The-Case-For-Play

The Case for Play

“The Case for Play” is Playground Ideas’ groundbreaking report highlighting the most significant research findings on the impact of early play interventions, particularly for children living in poverty. The report compiles the best research on play, spanning the fields of economics, psychology, child development, education and neuroscience.

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Play-Builders-Handbook

The Playground Builder’s Handbook

Everything you need to know to build a playground from start to finish using local tools and materials, and by accessing local skills. Adopting an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, learn strategies for involving children and community members in a participatory design process, and get guidance on how to plan, budget and fundraise. Discover how to choose appropriate materials; design an age-appropriate, developmentally-stimulating play-space; construct elements safely from local materials; and maintain the playground for years to come.

Safety-Handbook

Playground Safety Handbook

Based on the highest standard of European Union playground safety guidelines, our safety manual breaks down the most common playground hazards into an easy-to-understand, pictorial format. Learn how to differentiate good risks from dangerous hazards in order to create a challenging, stimulating playground that gives children opportunities for development and learning. Gain the skills to be able to design your own playground elements and ensure that they meet safety standards.

Loose-Parts-Manual

Loose Parts Manual

“Loose parts” is a term that refers to any material that can be moved, carried, stacked, or altered. Sticks, stones, cardboard boxes, ropes, milk crates – the possibilities are endless! Not only are loose parts cheap and easy to find, but they’re endlessly interesting to kids. Unlike fixed equipment, loose parts allow children to recreate their playground every day from the materials provided. Chalk full of beautiful illustrations and helpful tips and tricks, the Loose Parts Manual will guide you through gathering materials, setting up a storage and maintenance system, thinking through safety concerns, and training teachers. Whether you’re creating a loose parts playground from scratch or adding materials to your existing site, you’ll find everything you need to get started.

Inclusive-Design-Manual

Inclusive Design Manual

Designing inclusive playgrounds for children of all abilities requires more than simply adding in handicap-accessible elements. A truly inclusive playground facilitates meaningful interactions between children of different abilities and provides opportunities for challenge, healthy risk and mastery for all children. Deepen your understanding of inclusive design philosophy, and learn strategies for designing playgrounds that welcome and celebrate the unique abilities of all children.

Cut-Paste-Designer

Cut and Paste Playground Designer

Print out all our DIY playground elements scaled to size. You don’t need fancy software and drafting skills to design a playground – with paper, scissors and glue, you can map out your site, cut out the playground elements you want, and start designing!

Teacher-Training-Manual

Teacher Training Manual

Our “Teacher Training Manual” covers a basic introduction to the importance of play for healthy child development. Specifically focusing on the challenges faced in the developing world, the manual provides encouragement for teachers and childcare workers to use the resources and play traditions within their own culture to support play both inside and outside the classroom. With beautiful illustrations on each page, teachers will be empowered with knowledge about the importance of creating time and space for play for the children in their care.

Check out other open-source resources our community builders and Global Play Alliance Members have created. From country specific guides, to tips on community organizing, to manual translations – our community has a wealth of knowledge to share.

View Community Submitted Resources