Focus on Place

This is an interactive activity to better understand children’s perceptions of the space you’re trying to improve.

Site Assessment
Time Frame
30 – 60 minutes
Group Size
4 – 30 people
Focus Areas
Streets, parks and public spaces
Age Group
4 – 12 years
Materials List
  • At least one camera for every two participants
  • A cardboard cut-out picture frame for each participant

While this activity can be enjoyed by people of all ages, it is best suited for younger audiences.


Have participants walk around the site individually or in pairs.

Instruct them to look carefully and think about why they like or don’t like the place, focusing on specific details. If they have cardboard picture frames, those can be used first to practice framing things that stand out.

Ask participants to use their cameras to take photos of the things they like and don’t like. Tell them to think about the following questions as they take photos:

  • What are your favourite parts/elements of this public space?
  • What needs to be improved?
  • What makes you feel unsafe? Bored? Uncomfortable?
  • What makes you feel comfortable? Invited?
  • How did I get to this space? Could I walk or bike here safely?
  • Who else is spending time here? Older adults? Children? Men and women?

STEP 2: Scroll and tell.

Once everyone is finished taking photos, get together as a larger group. Ask everyone to scroll through their photos and take turns sharing and talking about images that stand out to them. Assign a note-taker to record everyone’s comments about the space.