The Krajicek Foundation wants to create equal opportunities for all children to exercise close by in a socially safe environment for at least one hour a day. To encourage children to exercise more often, Yalp and the Krajicek Foundation have set up the ‘Playground in One Day’ concept: an ideal outdoor play area that is challenging, interactive, and connects the whole neighborhood. But isn’t the concept too idealistic? What are the actual effects of such a Playground for the community? Mulier Institute researched it, and the results are surprising.
Krajicek Playground Enschede
In 2019 we were keen to give something back to our community in Twente. With the ‘Playground in One Day’ initiative, we transformed the Krajicek Playground Boswinkel Plaza in Enschede into a challenging play, sports, and meeting place for all generations, and we did this in just one day.
The playground is divided into different play zones, A through G. These play zones offer various movement skills. There is a Yalp Sutu Interactive ball wall, a Yalp Toro Interactive sports arena, a boot camp zone, an outdoor classroom with the Yalp Memo Interactive play pillars, an activity garden for the elderly and a challenging Flora playset. People with disabilities can play more than 80% of the elements.
Why ‘Playground in one day.’
Countless children play too little outside, especially in less developed neighborhoods where fewer play opportunities are available. And this while play and exercise are critical in the development of a child. In collaboration with the Krajicek Foundation, the municipality of Enschede, playground association Boswinkel and the nearby elementary school Europa, we created a sustainable, innovative, and socially secure playground in the district Boswinkel in Enschede. The goal of the transformation was to increase the use and diversity of the users.
To map the effect of this transformation, the Mulier Institute conducted research on the central question: ‘Does the number of users of the Krajicek Playground Boswinkel Plaza change after ‘Playground in one Day’ was implemented?’
The situation beforehand
To measure the effect, the Mulier Institute conducted a baseline measurement beforehand. The Krajicek playground is located in the Boswinkel neighborhood in Enschede. A community with a mixed population, where young and old and of different origins live. Personal contact and encounters are considered necessary here by everyone. There is no sports club in this neighborhood. The ‘old’ playground was also hardly ever used by children from the community. Therefore, a good public play and sports area were still missing, and the transformation of this Krajicek Playground had a goal to lower the barrier for sport in this neighborhood.
The realization: real teamwork!
In September 2019, we transformed the playground into excellent sports and play area for all generations. The success factor in this was the cooperation between all parties. Which was a given but, in the end, still very impressive! You can find more information and a video on Playground in One here.
The site was divided into six different zones for the research. This made it possible to examine which equipment was used a lot and which less. The zones also take into account the various age categories so that everyone can play sports and/or games with peers.
- Zone 1 – Sports field
- Zone 2 – Parkour, outdoor training, and rest area
- Zone 3 – Vitality garden, Outdoor Classroom with Yalp Memo Interactive play pillars
- Zone 4 – Krajicek Playground with Yalp Sutu Interactive ball wall and Yalp Toro Interactive sports arena
- Zone 5 – Natural playing with Flora equipment
- Zone 6 – Playground association
There are several professionals active in the Plaza every day, such as community sports coaches, Krajicek Scholarshippers, youth workers, and employees of the playground association. They organize after-school activities for children and youth from the neighborhood; once a year, the playground association organizes a vacation week (ViVa).
In September 2020, the Mulier Institute conducted another survey on the results of the transformation. And the statistics are fantastic! After the renovation, The Krajicek Playground is used more than before, especially by children of elementary school age and adults. The total number of users has increased by more than 80%!
The Yalp Sutu Interactive ball wall is even used more than all other Sutu’s in the Netherlands. (Where are the stats?)
It is striking that especially more children from outside the district are coming to the playground. Groups of elementary school children also came to get exercise lessons there, even from other communities.
In addition, the diversity of users has increased, and there is an interaction between the target groups. Everyone, from young to old, can enjoy themselves at the Krajicek Playground Boswinkel Plaza. The idea of connecting generations has succeeded. In the days of the corona pandemic, the free runner and fitness equipment was used extensively.
The most significant success factor has been cooperation.
Pascal Elkink says
At Yalp, we are thrilled to see that the Krajicek Playground Boswinkel Plaza is being used more after the Playground in One Day! This underlines our vision and mission to get more people to exercise and have fun. In addition, this place serves as an example for us for the larger and district-transcending playgrounds. We are proud that we were able to realize this together with all those involved and that the use is still excellent!
The effect is already enormous, and it could have been even greater if there had not been a corona pandemic. This meant that only limited activities could be organized. The expectation is that as soon as everything opens up again, the use will increase even more. We are looking forward to the possibilities.
Read the research summary here!
Download the Mulier Institute research summary now.