Affordances of Water Bodies as Playscape for Young Children
There is a growing body of research examining the behavioral responses of children with the outdoor environment suggesting that children’s sensorial and motor actions are influenced by functional properties of the environment. Comparatively, this study evaluates functional properties (affordances) of two sets of water-based setting, stream and river versus coastal settlement, on the functioning of young children. Physical, cognitive and social functioning were examined through behavioral mapping and semi-structured interviews.The data was analysed in three stages: (1) positive and negative affordances, (2) taxonomy of affordances, and (3) types of activities. In both settings, the children experienced 78 positive and only 2 to 5 negative affordances. From the taxonomy, water and graspable objects afforded most of the positive affordances. Most of the children's activities are performatory and exploratory types.The results suggest that the children perceived both of the setting as playscape that afforded them to function effectively.
Keywords: Affordances, Outdoor Environment, Children's Functioning, Social Interaction
Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture