Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lady Allen of Hurtwood - Planning for Play

Because "Children are more complicated than kettles."

And here is the Lady herself (photo via)


  1. Nice one! Just got this one out of the uni library myself :)

  2. Also: ta for the link up there, fascinating stuff. Apparently there are still over 80 "adventure playgrounds" in London - I wonder how close they are to Lady Allen's ideal? I suspect they have little in the way of junk / loose material that the kids can do whatever they like with, but I could be wrong.

  3. Yeah it's interesting how the bombed-out building is basically the template for the adventure playground. I have a real nostalgia for those dangerous old playgrounds. I was just watching the first of the 7Up series which has some memorable playground scenes.

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  5. Hurtwood got all her ideas from Scandinavia and brought them to the UK.

    “The adventure playground quite simply tries to answer one question: What kind of play did we all most enjoy when we were young and how can we best provide these opportunities in a crowded city?”

    Check out the few short films on adventure playgrounds that feature her talking about her ideas. They feature children starting fires, banging in rusty nails with huge mallets, cooking sausages in massive, dirty frying pans etc. Basically a health and safety nightmare.

    There are no playgrounds like this nowadays. I
    grew up playing in one, it is now an overgrown, untended mess that I pass on my way to my parents when I visit. The rubber tyre swing is still there though - indestructable.

    PS: I've not seen this cover before. The standard issue cover to this book is one of the greatest cover images ever produced. Check it out.

  6. Thanks for posting this cover, which I also have never seen. You might be interested to know that Planning for Play is now available as a digital download via the playscapes blog: playgrounddesigns.blogspot.com, though not with this cover!