Forms | Play Space Traffic Study Form

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Free Download And Print Observation Form

Use the Play Space Traffic Study form to examine how people move in the play space, how much different areas of the space are used, where conflicts occur, and more. This tool is designed to help keep track of what happens where in a play space. This can be useful in figuring out patterns of behavior or movement and then refining how the space is arranged or managed.

There are many ways to use the form depending on your needs. Here are some basic instructions:

  • Draw and label an eagle’s eye sketch of the play space. Include key features of the physical environment such as tables, shelving, play structures, etc.) It doesn’t need to be perfect.
  • Create a color-coded key based on what you intend to observe. For example, red lines may indicate 3-year-old Tabby’s movement around the room, blue Xs may indicate where someone was bitten, or green circles my mark places where conversation was observed.
  • Use colored pens and the key you created to chart what happens in the play space.

To save drawing time if you’ll be making many observations of the same space, do one drawing and make copies of it. Then you create unique keys for a copy and use it without having to redraw the space.

Here’s a link to an episode of the Child Care Bar And Grill podcast where we discuss this form.

Here are a couple samples of of completed forms for an imaginary classroom (scroll down for the free PDF you can download and print):

If you use this document in your program, please let us know how it works for you and share ideas for improvements in the comments.


Content Creator and Curator at

Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.

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