Section 3 Assess

What is a needs assessment?

Needs Assessment
A systematic process for determining and addressing needs, or gaps between current conditions (where we are now) and desired conditions or ‘wants’ (where we want to be).

A needs assessment is a starting point for generating new ideas. It is best to do a needs assessment at the start of a project.

A playground needs assessment will give you insight into what your playground offers at the moment, the views of the children that use the playground, and the views of other community members with experience of children and play.

There are many reasons for doing a needs assessment. A few of them are:

The questions to ask when doing a needs assessment

Figure 15 The questions to ask when doing a needs assessment

The playground needs assessment tool is the perfect starting point to get community members involved. If people are consulted about the problem, they are more likely to contribute to and participate in the solutions.

How to do a needs assessment

Natural Playground
An area where kids can play with natural elements such as sand, water, wood, and living plants.

To solve a problem, we first need to understand what the solution is. A playground needs assessment gathers information about the ‘road’ we need to take to create the natural playground we want for our children.

In short, it is finding out what needs to be done in order to move from where we are to where we want to be. Watch the video to find out how to conduct a needs assessment for your natural playground.

You can use Tool 2, Tool 3, Tool 4, Tool 5, and Tool 7 to help you conduct a needs assessment for your playground.