The Play Institute

Enhancing Playground Play through Research

Creating the world's best playgrounds requires understanding what motivates children to play, stay and return, and designing spaces that encourage physical, social-emotional, and cognitive-creative development.
Games area to help elevate fitness, muscle strength, motor skills and cognitive function.
Joy of learning: curiosity, understanding of causal relationships and knowledge of the world
A safe space to help children nurture their social skills through teamwork and provide a sense of belonging. Decreasing a Child's stress at school.
Joy of creating: co-creation and experimenting with materials

Play is fundamentally human

Play is a crucial part of childhood development, providing opportunities for children to learn, grow, and have fun. Through play, children develop their physical, emotional, and cognitive skills. It allows them to explore their creativity, challenge their boundaries, and build relationships with others. Play also helps children develop resilience, problem-solving skills, and self-esteem.

children playing with sand and water games at a kindergarten

Playground play based on user involvement

The KOMPAN Play Institute is KOMPAN’s unit of play specialists, dedicated to developing, documenting and researching play and playgrounds. The KOMPAN Play Institute has been part of developing, researching and advocating playgrounds for KOMPAN since the 1980s. The institute works with universities, researchers and practitioners of playground issues, to continuously improve KOMPAN’s play knowledge.

The main work areas of the KOMPAN Play Institute are:

  • Research in playground and child development

  • Testing and documentation of play designs with children of all abilities

  • White papers, publications and research on playground specific topics

  • Consultancy and advocacy on playgrounds and city planning for play

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Our competences

Inclusive play

Child Development and Play

Playground Design & Expert Consultancy | KOMPAN

Innovation with the KOMPAN Play Institute

Play evolves with time, but children remain the play experts. Successful play designs are based on their input, combined with specialist insight into the ongoing changes in child development. The KOMPAN Play Institute is all about finding fun and growth through play! They study and test to make sure KOMPAN's play equipment is top-notch, both for kids and experts. With its focus on child approval and expert validation, the KOMPAN Play Institute is always on the lookout for the next big playground adventure. And play research findings.

Webinars about play

A Design Checklist for Success with Inclusive Playgrounds




Unleashing Creativity: Building Unique Playgrounds with KOMPAN Design Studio

8 ways to encourage nature play in playgrounds

Sensory Play: Science behind child wellbeing in playgrounds

Tweens love playgrounds: 5 new science-based practice tips for playground design

White Papers about play

White papers

a children's play area with children playing on the playground.

A Design Checklist for Success with Inclusive Playgrounds

Meet the KOMPAN Play Institute

jeanette fich jespersen from kompan play institute

Jeanette Fich Jespersen

Suzanne Quinn

maria from kompan play institute

Maria Ross Larsen

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