Scene 10: Setting up the Fantasy Playscape Activity with the Crèche

05 November 2013


In the process of researching methods for involving the community in the design process of the park we came across an activity to involve the children.  This activity involves the children drawing a park with represents their ideal, fantasy playscape. Given no restrictions on ideas or park elements the children are allowed to freely express their desires for park equipment and playful activities. Ideally, we would collect these drawings and extract themes from them about the kinds of play equipment the kids would like to see, such as structures to climb on or swings or more open space for creative play.

scene 10

Cast of Characters:

MGV Park Team: Lucine, Tyler, Katherine, Zack



Village Tots crèche in Maitland Garden Village



Like many of the days we have spent in MGV this one started with a bit of walking through the streets of the community as we moved from place to place setting the groundwork for our interactions with the community the following week. On the Tuesday of this week we stopped in at the crèche, hoping to catch the principle Carol whom we had spoken to before about doing an activity with the children. Unfortunately she was not there and would be on leave until later next week. However, we were able to speak with another teacher who took the time to hear our plans and give us permission to come in and work with the kids. We left with the understanding that we would return briefly on Thursday to talk with the individual teachers about time and activity facilitation and then come back Friday for the activity. When we arrived on Thursday it turned out that there was some misunderstanding about the plans.

We stepped into the principal’s office on Thursday and spoke with he same teacher that we had met with on Tuesday. The first thing she said to us was “so since you didn’t come in this morning do you want to work with the children now?” We were unsure of how to answer her at first because we had none of the necessary materials with us as we had planned to do the activity on Friday. After some clarification our team broke up to speak with four different teachers with our new group of co-researchers. From here, we were able to determine the best time to work with the children the next day and who would facilitate the activity for what group of kids.



We left the crèche with some confidence in the fact that we now had a solid plan for how we could move forward with including the children in the design process. While we have hopes for how this activity will go and some hopes for what we can take away from it, we know that may not be the case. The younger children may not have the ability to draw or communicate through drawing the way we hope, but we still think there will be a positive outcome if we take the time to talk to them about what they are drawing. The children will have had a part in the design of the park and we are planning to involve them again at a future date as things get further along.

The miscommunication on Thursday may have resulted from the principle not being there this week. Carol is a lovely lade and we are sure that her shoes are hard to fill when she is absent. As we discussed with the teacher, there were children playing just outside the room, filling it with laughter, yelling, and some singing. We may have been distracted by the activity going on outside. It might have been that the teacher we spoke to had many other things on her plate with Teacher Carol not there. To prevent this from happening again in any setting, we need to ensure that the details on meetings and activities are written on paper and distributed to everyone involved. Despite the reason for miscommunication, we are excited to work with the children on Friday to get them excited about the park redevelopment.