TM 5-803-11/AFJMAN 32-10139
should be formed to oversee the play area planning
and design process and participate in design review.
This manual establishes guidance for planning
b. Select the Site. Site selection should be coordi-
and designing unsupervised outdoor play areas to
nated with the installation master plan, and should
meet child safety and child development require-
consider the type of play area provided and the site
ments. By applying this guidance, a designer can
selection guidance presented in this manual. A new
create play areas at military installations that will
site may be selected or an existing play area may be
provide a play program that meets the needs of
children with and without disabilities.
c. Conduct the Site Analysis and User Needs
Analysis. AH documents relevant to the play area
design should be collected. Research and analysis
The manual provides guidelines and recom-
should include a user needs analysis and a site
mended site layouts for designing unsupervised out-
inventory and analysis. During this process, the
door play areas for children through age 15. Be-
designer should coordinate with the play area com-
cause o f differing child safety and child
development requirements, guidance is provided to
d. Develop Design Criteria. Based on the informa-
meet the needs of three age groups: 6 weeks to 5
tion gathered, a design criteria report should be
years; 5 to 9 years; and 9 to 15 years. Detailed
developed for the proposed play area. Once design
design guidance is provided for designing three
criteria is identified, the suitability of the proposed
types of play areas: play lots serving children ages 6
site should be reevaluated based on this criteria.
weeks to 5 years or 5 to 9 years; neighborhood parks
The play area committee should review the pro-
serving youth ages 9 to 15 years; and community
posed design criteria.
parks serving all age groups.
e. Determine Play Area Relationships. An adja-
cency diagram should be selected from this manual
that best reflects the play area design criteria and
Appendix A contains a list of references used in
ages of the primary user group.
f. Develop the Design Documents. The designer
will adapt the selected adjacency diagram to the
site. The site-adapted adjacency diagram will be
A glossary in the back of this manual provides
used to create a conceptual design and cost esti-
definitions for words and phrases common to out-
mate. The conceptual design should be reviewed by
door play area design.
the play area committee. Based on the conceptual
design, the designer will produce the construction
1-5. Supervised Play Areas.
drawings and specifications. If sufficient funds are
Supervised play areas differ from unsupervised
not available, a phased development plan will be
play areas in a number of ways. Play areas are
created. The final design documents should be re-
supervised by trained recreation or child develop-
viewed by the play area committee.
ment staff, the play area is used to implement a
1-7. The Play Area Committee.
program of developmental play activities, and daily
safety inspections are performed. Supervised play
The civil or installation engineer should organize
areas provide opportunities to expand the play pro-
a committee to oversee the play area planning and
gram to include activities that may be too risky or
design process. The committee may also be respon-
difficult to maintain in unsupervised play areas.
sible for fundraising and organizing self-help activi-
ties to support play area development. The commit-
1-6. Play Area Planning and Design Process.
tee size varies with the size of the proposed project.
Once the need for a play area is identified, the
One committee should be organized annually to
play area planning and design process can begin.
oversee all play area projects. The designer should
Figure 11 illustrates the process which is the basis
work closely with this committee throughout the
for this technical manual.
a. Community Representatives. The committee
a. Form a Play Area Committee. A committee of
should include parents of children who will use the
installation staff and community representatives