The concept of play value is often discussed today while evaluating the purchase of commercial playground equipment, with sales people using buzzwords like ‘value added’ or ‘best value’. Those same sales people are usually competing on price – offering the lowest price or the biggest discount.
Criteria for evaluating proposals for a new playground bid can take a different twist as well, measuring the number of different pieces or even the larger space consumed as high scoring factors in the decision making process.
Lower cost is not always the same as better value. Wisdom from previous generations tells us “You get what you pay for!” That thinking would say that another way to evaluate a purchase would be the results with the users: parents, teachers, and – perhaps most important – children. More users attracted, longer play times, a higher return rate, and a wider age range appeal could all indicate high play value.
How would you measure success for a new playground?