TM 5-803-11/AFJMAN 32-10139
ways, and low walls, should be used to define activ-
ment components, and over play areas for young
ity areas and direct movement through the play
children. Plant material should not be located
area. When needed because of differing safety re-
within play equipment use zones.
quirements, barriers should be used to separate age
i. Landforms. Landforms include natural or
groups. These barriers should allow children to ob-
manmade variations in topography, and earth
serve activities in other parts of the play area.
sculpture. If appropriate for the primary age group
Fences are only required to protect children from
who will be using the play area, play area designs
large bodies of water, heavily traveled streets, traf-
s h o u l d be adapted to incorporate existing
fic that is hazardous to the age group using the play
land forms. Manufactured play equipment may be
area, or other hazards.
incorporated into landforms to create access onto
a. Serving More Than One Age Group. Play area
elevated play equipment.
components serving different age groups should be
j. Pathways. Pathways should be provided to al-
separated with barriers, such as low walls, path-
low access up to, into, and around the play area for
ways, turf areas, or vegetation.
pedestrians, strollers, bicycles, children and adults
b. Manufactured Play Equipment. Because of dif-
with disabilities, and maintenance vehicles. Path-
fering safety needs, manufactured play equipment
ways should be used to separate and define space
designed for children under 5 years old and play
that serves different functions. Where bicycle use is
equipment designed for children over 5 years old
great enough to cause safety concerns for pedestri-
should be separated with barriers, such as low walls
ans, separate bike paths should be considered.
(1) Pathways As Play Events. Pathways may
c. Type of Play. Active and passive play activities
serve as a play event, supporting games, site explo-
should be separated by location, pathways, or barri-
ration, and use of wheeled toys, skates, strollers,
ers, such as low walls or vegetation.
and bikes. Primary pathways are hard-surfaced and
should be located to connect all play area compo-
5-4. Play Lot (6 Weeks to 9 Years).
nents. Auxiliary or secondary pathways may be pro-
vided away from main activity and circulation paths
Four adjacency diagrams are provided to illus-
for exploration. Secondary pathways may be com-
trate how the play area relationships described
posed of more challenging materials, such as packed
above should be implemented in the design of play
earth or wood products.
lots. One option is provided for children 6 weeks to 5
years and two options are provided for children 5
(2) Service Vehicle Access. Maintenance access
years to 9 years. One option is provided for a single
allows maintenance, police, service, and emergency
play area that serves children 6 weeks to 9 years.
vehicles to travel through the play area to provide
This option includes separation between play area
emergency assistance and perform service tasks,
components to maintain child safety.
such as garbage removal, mowing, and replenishing
of materials. A service vehicle access route should
a. Play Lot (6 Weeks to 5 Years). One option is
provided for play lots that serve only children under
be provided through the play area along the main
pathway. The route should provide a direct connec-
5 years old. The play area contains an entry area,
tion to all areas covered with loose-fill safety surfac-
dramatic play, sand play, a gathering place, and a
ing, such as wood products, sand, gravel, or chopped
pathway (fig 5l).
(1) Dramatic Play. The dramatic play compo-
nent for this age group is designed as a play village.
k. Signage. Signs should be located to ensure
It serves as the play area focal point and center of
good orientation, direct. traffic flow, and provide in-
formation about the site and programs. The need for
signs depends on the type and complexity of the
(2) Sand Play. Sand play is located next to dra-
matic play to extend play opportunities.
l. Parking. Offstreet parking areas may be pro-
(3) Gathering Place. A gathering place for in-
vided for community parks. Parking should be lo-
fants and parents is located to allow views through-
cated near the park entrance at a distance from
out the play area. An infant crawl area for children
active areas or picnic areas. Parking must be sepa-
under 12 months is provided adjacent to the seating
rated from other areas with a barrier.
and on the edge of the play area away from more
active play. Shade is provided for the seating area
5-3. Identify Needed Separation and Barriers.
and for the infant crawl area.
(4) Pathway. A pathway encircles and inter-
When developing appropriate play area relation-
sects the play village. This allows dramatic play
ships, some consideration must be given to provid-
that incorporates wheeled toys as imaginary ve-
ing physical separation and barriers between play
area components. Barriers, such as shrubs, path-