The Play Institute

Perfecting Playgrounds through Research

What motivates a child to play? What equipment keeps their attention? Which challenges have them returning time after time? The world's best playgrounds are designed with an understanding of these questions, along with opportunities to develop physical, social-emotional, and cognitive-creative skills.
Joy of movement: motor skills, muscle, cardio and bone density
Joy of learning: curiosity, understanding of causal relationships and knowledge of the world
Joy of being together: teamwork, tolerance and sense of belonging
Joy of creating: co-creation and experimenting with materials

To play is to be 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, self-esteem and problem-solving skills.

Playgrounds based on user evidence

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 developed, researched, and advocated for playgrounds for KOMPAN since the 1980s.

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

Our competencies

Inclusive Play

Child Development and Play

Play Design

Innovation with the KOMPAN Play Institute

Play may look different throughout the years, but one thing stays the same in an evolving world: children remain the experts. Successful play design uses their expertise and input, combined with specialist insight into the ongoing changes of childhood development. Thorough research and a respectful mindset of carefully listening to and observing children at play are the cornerstones of KOMPAN’s play innovation.

The KOMPAN Play Institute follows and conducts continuous research into play benefits and childhood development. These insights lie behind the briefs for play innovation. Documenting the play value and child benefits of play is one main focus of the Institute. It cooperates with special design units within KOMPAN and tests prototypes with children, documenting the effects of playground play. Child approval and specialist documentation throughout the design process ensures that KOMPAN equipment stands the test of attraction, retention, and play value.

Webinars on play

White Papers - The Data of Play

White papers

Meet the KOMPAN Play Institute

Jeanette Fich Jespersen

Suzanne Quinn

Maria Ross Larsen

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