The Story of Simply Play

Simply Play is a simple, effective play value assessment which has been developed through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Sheffield Hallam University and Timberplay Ltd.

By developing an assessment which focuses on the quality of the play value of a space the aim has been to put the primary purpose for developing play areas back at the heart of their development, namely play.

From 2012 Simply Play will be freely available . It is hoped that its grounding in play theory, the foundation it is built from, of some of the seminal literature on play space development, combined with the simple to use process will support the development of highly effective play spaces.

Knowledge Transfer PartnershipSimply Play is the result of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project. Knowledge transfer partnerships projects are created to support businesses in developing their services or products through the sharing of current research and knowledge held in a Knowledge Base, in this instance a University.

The partnerships consists of a project board monitored by Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and the three partners; An associate who typically has knowledge or expertise in a particular area, A Knowledge Base who specialise in an area of study of interest to the Organisation and the Organisation or Business Partner.More information can be found by clicking here.

Following 14 months research and development involving a wide range of stakeholders, Simply Play has been made available here as on online survey process. It can be used as a standalone assessment or alongside other assessments which consider location, safety, inclusion or other factors to consider in play space development

The Partnership

The Knowledge Base

Sheffield Hallam University have been running Degree level Playwork education and training since 2005. The late Professor Perry Else course leader on the Children and Playwork Degree course wrote numerous published papers and has authored a book on “The Value of Play”.  He offered supervision on this project as well as having created the assessment for play value, “Maximising Play Value” on which Simply Play was based.

The Business Partner

Timberplay Ltd. are play space specialists, designing and creating effective play spaces for the public, private, education and leisure sectors. They were one of the first companies in Britain to include specialist landscape architecture skills in their design process, recognising that play is not always just about the equipment. They are the UK export partner of Richter Spielgerate GMBH and are increasingly known as a knowledge based business. This is their second KTP project. Click here for more information.

The Associate

Beth Cooper graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2009 with a first class degree in Children and Playwork. Following this she spent two years as a project officer for a local authority with responsibility for delivering the playbuilder project in that area. She has spoken at a National Conference about this project and recently organised a National event to share Simply Play with delegates from Play England, Play Scotland and Kids. In attendance also were representatives from the Landscape Architecture practices, local authorities and play consultants.


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