Places for Children – Children’s Places

This article highlights the difference between places created by adults for children (places for children) and spaces that children themselves consider to be play spaces (children’s places). This is an important concept to keep in mind when co-designing social infrastructures with and for children.

In their everyday lives, children largely stay within and relate to three settings – their homes, schools and recreational institutions. These environments have been created by adults and designated by them as ‘places for children’. A more differentiated picture of children’s spatial culture emerges when children discuss and take photographs of settings that are meaningful to them. This article applies the concept ‘children’s places’ to explain the fact that children relate not only to official places provided by adults, but also to informal places, often unnoticed by adults. The analysis sheds light on interfaces and discontinuities between ‘places for children’ and ‘children’s places’ and argues that the concept should not be underestimated in the sociology of childhood.

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