What is Pac-a-Map?

Pac-a-Map is a simple resource which aims to open up conversations about experiences of play and play spaces.

Pac-a-Map gathers information which can be used to:

1. Stimulate conversations about play spaces in local communities
2. Inform priorities and future projects
3. Support the development of local Play Strategies and Action Plans
4. Highlight issues surrounding play such as accessibility and inclusion.

Pac-a-Map highlights the value and importance of play for children and young people and shines a light on their experiences.

It is an engaging resource for reminiscence activities and for conversations between older people and younger ones, whether between a grandparent and grandchild or older people and a school class.

Pac-a-Map is based on the idea of local knowledge contributing to a stronger voice for play.

ELPA's first Play Map

The play map was created using a large scale map of the local area, during a ‘Support from the Start’ Pop Up Play event. We invited members of the public to help develop the map.

The resulting map showed places where children play now and where parents, older generations and community members played in the past.

The Play Map brought rich information and prompted conversations about the types of places children enjoy, ‘lost’ play spaces in the community and patterns of play.

It was then displayed in the John Gray Centre, Haddington.

Step by Step guide to


Setting off with your map
Pac-a-Map can be used in diverse settings. It is suitable for talking about play at community events, in schools, childcare and early learning settings, youth projects, reminiscence projects and as part of wider consultations.


Public and community events,
schools and clubs

Pac-a-Map works well at public events such as play days, street fairs, markets and local galas and festivals.


The idea of the labels is to turn the basic map into a rich collection of people’s memories, ideas and comments.


Having the walkabout allowed natural play to occur whilst we were out and about in the community which was then relayed back to the other children.


Where are you going next?
Maps that have been worked on in this way look very appealing and can be made into displays for local venues such as Museums, Libraries and Council Chambers.


Gather information
Pac-a-Map provides a simple way to gather information to inform and influence decision-making. The information gathered can be made into a more accessible format by typing it up and including some photos.


Download our Pac-a-Map Booklet