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International project will identify children`s playing environment

The Research Council of Norway has granted financing to the project:  Competence for developing early childhood education and care (ECEC) institution`s indoor and outdoor environments.

The ECEC sector has identified a strong need for research and new competencies regarding the role physical environments have as arenas for children's play, learning and development, and strategies for enhancing these environments. With this background the project aim to develop research based knowledge on how children interact with and use the physical environment for play and learning in ECEC institutions, and how this environment contributes to conditions that promote play, learning, psychosocial, and physical health. 


The aim is also to build competence among important stakeholders and ultimately result in developing principles
and practical tools for how to improve ECEC physical environments; Tools that would be applicable for the ECEC sector, the architect and landscape architect sector, ECEC teacher education, ECEC teacher students, architect students and landscape architect students.

The project aims to: develop new knowledge and to test out new research tools which will result in a higher competence in planning, designing and developing ECEC institutions' physical (indoor & outdoor) environments.

EB og Rune
Assistant professor Rune Storli and Professor Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, both QMUC, has a lot of experience researching children`s physical playing environment. 

Three stages of the project:

  1. To enhance knowledge about how children interact with physical environments in ECEC institutions, and how this affect children's play, learning, psychosocial- and physical health.
  2. To use the knowledge gained in secondary objective #1 to develop and test an intervention in ECEC institutions that outlines principles for design or adaption of physical environments to be optimal and functional for children's play, learning, psychosocial and physical health.
  3. To use the knowledge gained in secondary objective #2 to develop an evidence-based guide and online tool for planning, designing, and adapting ECEC institutions' indoor and outdoor physical environment.

International partners

  • Bart Declercq, University of Leuven
  • Susan Herrington, University of British Colombia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
  • Mariana Brussoni, University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health

    Project group
  •  Ellen Beate Hanssen Sandseter, QMUC
  • Rune Storli, QMUC
  • Ole Johan Sando, QMUC
  • Randi Evenstad, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
  • Jens Zeevart, Asplan Viak AS
  • Birger Dahl, Enerhaugen Arkitektkontor AS
  • Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter for barnehager A/S
  • Læringsverkstedet
  • Espira Gruppen AS
  • Trondheim municipality

Updated