When it comes to a playground, an intentional design and layout are crucial. A well thought out playground can capture the attention of a community and become a gathering place for families to enjoy afternoons outside together for years on end. While a playground is mostly about providing a safe and educational environment for children, it has the potential to be so much more than that. We have compiled some key things to consider when planning on installing a playground so that it can have the greatest impact possible on the surrounding community.
One of the biggest things you can do to ensure that everyone feels welcome and able to enjoy a playground is to design the layout specifically so that it is accessible to a broader range of physical abilities. Even something as simple as your choice in surface material has the capacity to open new doors for children confined to wheelchairs to enjoy playtime with their friends. Making sure the paths and walkways are wide enough for those wheelchairs will also ensure that every kid can fully benefit from the entire playground. By allowing more kids to have the ability to play together, your playground design will be a catalyst for diverse play that helps every child grow and learn together in so many important ways that will benefit them now and in the future.
A truly good playground will be designed specifically to promote child development, and there are various types of activities that you can include to achieve this.
- Visual—A child’s ability to see and differentiate colors will be built on experiences from very early ages. This is why utilizing contrasting and bright colors is an important aspect of a playground design.
- Tactile—The whole concept of a playground is built on tactile learning as children do develop perceptions by climbing, touching, and jumping around on various surfaces. Common aspects of a playground like a rock wall or a rope ladder help achieve the tactile sensory element of child development.
- Auditory—A child having an active role in creating and interpreting different sounds is crucial stimulation for the early brain. Activities like musical instruments, wind chimes, or talking tubes are fun and beneficial aspects of a great playground.
- Vestibular—This is the part of the brain that connects the body’s movement with gravity and balance. This is why swings are such a staple for playgrounds, as well as other balancing activities. They help children learn crucial coordination without even realizing it!
The theme you choose for your playground will have an effect on the general flow of play, which will dictate what types of activities are placed where. There is a science to how different types of activities inspire learning in children, and you will want to utilize the space properly so that they can get the most out of the time they spend there. One way you can help connect with the community is by incorporating any kind of town history, art, or culture into the play scape area. This type of strategic design will help your playground go beyond being a great place for kids to learn and play by making its mark as a must-see attraction that your community will cherish for years to come.
There are a few obvious location tips that could go without saying like choosing a safe, central area within walking distance of neighborhoods or community areas. But how you utilize the space is just as important as the location itself. You do not just want to simply add a playground, but instead, you want to enhance a gathering space all together. This could mean preserving the nature in or around your location or even incorporating it into your design. Make the space a desirable location for parents to gather, sit, or walk around. By being strategic with walkways and seating areas, you will guarantee that the families in town will keep coming back, not just for play time, but for true community with their friends and neighbors.