Beatles or Rolling Stones? Cats or dogs? Betty or Veronica? Lennon or McCartney?
Some think we can pretty well be defined by their preference over a simple binary question.
If you’re a kid in Wollongong, the question could be: do you prefer playgrounds or rockpools?
University of Wollongong PhD student Kiera Kent is studying how and why kids in this area make their choices, and why.
Doing her doctorate in social science, in the department of Geography and Sustainable Communities. she anticipates good information about how people play will help when designing cities, to make them more kid-friendly.
Soon after she arrived in Wollongong from Canada, she saw the public outcry when Wollongong City Council threatened to lot some of the city’s rockpools go to ruin, if it couldn’t find more money elsewhere.
“Since I thought the community was really passionate about these spaces, I observed families using the pools,” she said.
“It’s a unique part of the landscape here. I thought it would be a good way to compare the more structured play spaces like playgrounds with the other play spaces like rock pools.”
She is busy trying to get volunteers on board for her project and plans to use drawings, interviews and visits to pools and playgrounds to learn more about how kids play in “everyday spaces”.
She’s looking for 15-20 families with children aged 3-12 to take part.
Austinmer siblings Marin and Ronan Duggan love the coast and its rockpools – even cold and rain can’t keep them out of the water.
Ronan is learning to surf but can have almost as much fun splashing in the myriad pools that dot the rocks shelves.
“I don’t care if it’s cold and rainy,” he said.
Marin said she feels safe in rock pools – as long as she keeps an eye on the sea.
“When the waves aren’t crashing in, yes, they feel safe,” she said.
The project needs more participants. Use email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact Kiera Kent.