Monday, January 25, 2010

About the Kidsafe Playground Conference

Kidsafe WA’s Playground Advisory Service is presenting the Kidsafe Playground Conference: The Nature of Play at the Subiaco Arts Centre, Perth WA, 19-20 April 2010.

This event will bring together national and international play and playground experts with delegates from the fields of child and community development, public space and urban design, landscape and playground industries and government. It will be an opportunity to highlight the importance of play in children's lives, learning and development and how well-designed and maintained playgrounds and public open spaces can contribute to the heath, wellbeing and vibrancy of our communities.

Ideas to provide children with opportunities for free-play within play spaces that support engagement and connection with nature will be a key focus of the conference. Recent and current research in this field suggests that providing a good balance of loose items and fixed play structures within a natural setting helps promotes children’s cognitive, social and emotional learning as well as their physical development, health and wellbeing.

The pros and cons of providing “challenging” playgrounds will also be discussed. This area has important implications for children’s long-term health and wellbeing and presentations will provide public playground providers with practical strategies to create and manage “risk” and “challenge” in playgrounds while ensuring children’s safety remains paramount.

Bernard Spiegal and Sue Gutteridge from the UK not-for-profit play and leisure consultancy PLAYLINK and Danish landscape architect Helle Nebelong (visiting Perth for a second time) will provide keynote speeches and short workshops in a diverse program of presentations by speakers from across Australia and New Zealand.

More information at or email

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