Designing a Mixed-age Playground based on Children's Imagination


Children’s social play has generally occurred between children of varied ages or between individuals of dramatically opposing ages. We should thus monitor social play among mixed-age groups of children if we want to get a deeper understanding of the benefits of children’s social play. The purpose of this study is to extract an imaginary playground from children and to design a playground for children of various ages. This study analyzes how to design a playground for mixed age children and, how children may learn from one another on this playground, what are additional advantages of mixed age playgrounds, and also how playgrounds impact children’s creativity. We believe that mixed-age playgrounds benefit both younger and older children by encouraging peer learning. We also think that playgrounds constructed by designers who rely on children’s imaginations may have an impact on their creativity. Karşıyaka Child Protection Center in Izmir, Turkey, was chosen as a case study. Initially, children’s playground preferences were surveyed, and found that same-age play allows children to collaborate fully and equally. Nevertheless, mixed-age play has benefits in terms of acquiring skills, cultural information, and leadership. After evaluating the questionnaire and visiting the site several times, mixed-age playground was designed for mixed-age children in Karsiyaka Child Protection Center. We recognized that we should pay attention to the placement of distinct play places that have the essential potential for visual and auditory interactions, and to design playgrounds for different ages by considering play stages in the same design field.


Didem Kan-Kilic
Associate Professor, Interior Architecture and Environmental Design, Izmir Ekonomi Üniversitesi, Izmir, Turkey

Tayyebe Babaei

Melek Demir
Public servant, Mediterranean Academy, IZMIR METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY , Izmir, Turkey


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society



Digital Media