Playgrounds allow kids to get rid of their excess energy, have fun with friends and learn more about the world around them. Playgrounds have several benefits for children, including encouraging their creativity, helping them learn new skills and promoting positive social interaction.
You must evaluate various points when creating an inclusive playground, including who will use it, what equipment you should install and how you will maintain it. These important playground design considerations can help guide you when designing and installing a playground for kids and adults of all ages enjoy.
Below, we explore several tips for designing, installing and maintaining a playground to help you create a fun and accessible space for your community.
Before you can start designing your playground, you need to understand who will be using it, what you want kids to get out of it and what amenities are needed for the play area.
Designing a playground for a public park may require different amenities and equipment compared to an elementary school playground. Understanding who will use the playground and why can help you design a functional and beautiful space for kids and families to enjoy.
Some important questions to ask yourself and your team before you start designing include:
While reviewing the playground site, look at the natural and artificial elements in and around the area. There may be amenities such as bathrooms and water fountains nearby that you can utilize instead of building your own. You can also incorporate natural elements such as flowers, trees and rocks into your design. Using existing features rather can make designing and installing a playground easier and more cost-effective.
Spend a few days monitoring the weather and the area experiences. Is there a lot of sun during the day? Where will you need to add shade to make the playground more comfortable to play in? Are there spots that would benefit from windshields? You can research the weather in different seasons to guide your choice of playground equipment and amenities.
Other site conditions to evaluate include drainage and slope angles, soil conditions and the playground’s vicinity to roads and nearby amenities.
Once you know your most essential playground considerations, you can get started on the design. Here are eight aspects to consider when designing a playground:
When designing a playground, remember to look at your project from a child’s point of view, too. Children see the world differently from adults and have active imaginations. When choosing equipment, setting up zones or considering a theme, think about what children might enjoy the most.
The best installation method is to use a team of certified playground installers. These professionals can install the equipment correctly and safely, ensuring you get it right the first time. After the installation process, schedule an inspection with an audit-certified playground safety inspector. They will check that the equipment is correctly installed and safe to use.
Maintaining a playground goes beyond cleaning it. Cleaning up trash and other debris keeps playgrounds safe and appealing. However, it is also important to create a proper maintenance schedule. Even the most durable equipment can wear down over time.
Implement a maintenance plan that involves looking for loose, missing or worn parts that may become a hazard. Replace or repair any parts as soon as possible to ensure the continued safety of the equipment. Ensure trees, shrubs and other natural elements are looked after, too.
Playworx has over 20 years of experience designing, installing and maintaining playgrounds for communities across Georgia and Florida. Our team will take the time to understand your unique playground needs and help you design a playground that can provide endless fun for your community.