Shakespeare Walk Adventure Playground
Encouraging children to discover themselves through the freedom of play
In 2021, SWAPA celebrates 45 years as a vibrant and community focused adventure playground at the heart of Stoke Newington, N16.
Adventure playgrounds were first introduced as a post-war effort to create safe and enriching environments for children to explore and build their own play spaces. Keeping in this tradition, our qualified playworkers are on hand to facilitate child-led play for 6-15 year olds, free of charge.
Once a child over the age of 6 is registered, they are free to come on their own whenever we are open. Children under the age of 6 must also register but must be accompanied by an adult when visiting the playground.
We believe a good life is one in tune with the cycle of the seasons, the natural rhythms of water, fire, earth and air. The playground is designed to encourage kids to play outside as much as possible - and we sweeten the deal with bonfires and marshmallows and our new pizza oven...
When needed we can always retreat to one of our outdoor shelters, or the indoors if we must!
Our arts and crafts library is full of materials kids can use to create from scratch a masterplan of what's going on inside their heads.
And the play workers regularly organise activities ... so kids will likely come home a little messy, slimy, sticky, mucky, dirty and hopefully a bit glittery. But most of all we want kids to know the materials for creativity are there, if and when they need them.
Adventure playgrounds are different to regular playgrounds because kids, aged 6-15 are expected to be dropped off. This means staff are on-hand to help keep kids safe but are not helicopter parenting. We want kids to learn for themselves how to manage risk, one of the most important outcomes of growing up..
We feel a strong community spirit starts with its kids. Our expectation at SWAPA is for kids to learn to work together, figure out solutions to their problems, have fun while they do it and ultimately, go for it. If we do our job right, they'll learn to use that mindset for any of life's challenges.
How we support your children
We create a safe environment for kids to play, create, test and understand themselves better. We do this by creating a space that is child-led - we encourage the kids to be in charge of their own play experiences and then get involved whenever needed.
We also design activities in line with what our kids tell us they're interested in. Check our calendar to see a loose schedule of events that take place during half terms and holidays.
Some recent activities include slime making, whittling sticks, making dough and cooking twisty bread over the fire, den building, gardening, tie-dying t-shirts, bike repairs, using tools to build, painting a mural, go-kart building and racing and winning!