Tweens love playgrounds
How to motivate tween physical activity in playgrounds
Research from KOMPAN Play Institute shows how you best motivate tweens in physical play activity in playgrounds. During the tween years (9-12), the daily physical activity levels decline drastically, and it is a common community challenge to find a way to activate young people. But studies show that with the right facilities, tweens’ physical activity can be supported. Tweens want to be with their friends, they want to socialize, and they want to be physically active. So, tweens are often found competing and showing off. They spend their time making friends and emotionally bonding. All of this effortlessly takes place in the playground.
But which play equipment should one choose to activate tweens? In cooperation with the University of Southern Denmark, the KOMPAN Play Institute conducted a major study using GPS and activity trackers to monitor tweens’ activity on playgrounds. The study shows four main playground activity motivators for tweens:
Ball game areas
Areas away from the playground
Combinations of active and spectators
Read the science behind this whitepaper in the research article: Where are tweens active in school playgrounds? A hot-spot analysis using GPS, accelerometer, and GIS data, in Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 227, November 2022, 104546
4 considerations for attracting and activating tweens in playgrounds
Make room for ball game equipment such as Mugas and Pannas
Plan for tween activity areas away from the main playground
Include climbing equipment for tween girls such as Space nets and GALAXY structures
Design for areas where some can perform, and some can be spectators
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