Guidelines for the Design of Outdoor Play Settings for Children


In January of 2006, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and the Child Friendly City Executive Agency approached the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) to develop a set of guidelines for the design of children's play settings.

The guidelines were intended to promote awareness among designers and municipal staff, of high standards of safety, comfort, developmental stimulation, and integration of children with disabilities, as applied to the design of children's play areas. The guidelines were also intended to increase the breath of locally available research pertaining to children's play environments.

The guidelines developed cover the following areas:    

  1. Child development objectives and general design criteria

                2. Specific design criteria for:

  • Manufactured Play Equipment Settings
  • Gathering and meeting spacesGround Surfacing
  • Fences/Barriers
  • Entrances
  • Pathways
  • Landsforms/Topography
  • Trees and Vegetation
  • Signage
  • Lighting and Electrical

The guidelines developed are based primarily on the source below and have been modified slightly to suit the local context of Jordan. 

  • Moore, R. C., Goltsman, S. M. and Iacofano, D. S. eds. 1992 (2nd ed.). Play for All Guidelines: Planning, Design and Management of Outdoor Play Settings for All Children. Berkeley, California: MIG Communications.

In Addition, the following references were also consulted:

  • Del Alamo, M. R. 2005. Design for Fun: Playgrounds. Barcelona : Links International.  
  • Eriksen, A. 1985. Playground Design: Outdoor Environments for Learning and Development. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. 
  • Hendricks, B. E. 2001. Designing for Play. Aldershot, Hampshire and Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate.
  • Senda, M. 1992. Design of Children's Play Environments. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Project Team
Research and Writing: Lara Zureikat
Illustraions, Translation, and Editing: Basma Abdulla
Editing: Majd Musa