Playgrounds are a place for kids of all ages and abilities to connect, exercise and play. They provide opportunities for imaginative, social and reflective play, and help develop social, emotional, physical and problem-solving skills. They also provide a natural break from screen time and allow kids to get outside and breathe fresh air. While a playground may seem like a simple play area, the design and planning process for a new playground requires many different factors to take into account. This article offers tips to help ensure your playground meets your community’s unique needs and helps bring everyone together for play.
Consider Zones of Play
The best playground designs playground markings offer an array of activities that appeal to different energy levels and ages. During the pre-design phase, it’s important to identify potential play zones within the playground and consider how each will be used and accessed by children.
For instance, a water play zone could include anything from a small basin that is refilled daily to a large whole-body water play element. An active and loud zone might feature swings, seesaws or a bouncy structure, while a quieter zone would feature seating and a gardening area. This way, kids who are engaged in loud forms of play will not disturb those who prefer quieter activities.
Climbers: Adding freestanding climbers to your playground can give kids of all ages and abilities a chance to build strength. From a single panel to overhead climbers, these structures come in numerous designs and difficulty levels to challenge all skill levels.
Sandboxes: A traditional playground favorite, a sandbox gives kids a creative space to express their imaginations. These can be augmented with compartments, peepholes and other features that inspire creativity.
Art: Incorporating an art zone in your playground can encourage creative expressions and a sense of community. This can be accomplished through a variety of ways, including paint stations that let kids express their artistic side and artful structures that can stand as visual attractions.
Building: Construction toys are popular playground elements that promote motor skills and hand-eye coordination. These include ramps and ramp ladders, slides that can be climbed up or down, and towers and other structures to climb on. Building with blocks or constructing structures can be challenging for kids of all abilities, and some playgrounds are even offering blocks in different shapes, sizes and colors to accommodate kids with special needs.
A natural look is becoming increasingly desirable in community playgrounds. It can create a more welcoming feel and bring nature into urban communities, which can have an impact on kids’ mental and emotional health. Consider using wood, natural colors and earth tones that evoke a feeling of nature in your playground.
Whether your goal is to entertain and exercise children, help them learn and grow or simply get some fresh air, creating the right playground can be an exciting and fulfilling project for both you and your community. The right design will help kids of all ages and abilities get the most out of their experience at the park, allowing them to make memories that last a lifetime.