When you’re designing a playground, there are many things to take into account. You’ll have to settle on a specific budget, find a suitable location and choose equipment that is appropriate for the age group you’re designing for. But there are also the smaller details to consider – the plants, pathways and other features that make up the overall space. These small design details can have a big impact on the end result, and will help create a playground that is unique to your community.
Playground designs aren’t just about the structures and activities themselves, they’re about creating a space where kids of all ages and abilities can connect, learn and play together. In order to do this, it’s important that you understand the needs of your community and create a design that will meet those needs.
To start, it’s helpful to determine the key priorities for your playground. This can be done through a series of discussions with stakeholders, and can be used to guide the design process, budget planning playground designs and equipment selection. This will help ensure that the final playground is one that your community will love, and use regularly.
Once you’ve settled on the basic design, it’s time to start selecting the equipment and surfacing that will be included in the playground. It’s important to think about the age range of the kids who will be using the playground, as this will have a huge impact on what type of equipment and surfacing you choose. You should also decide whether you’ll be including any sensory components, as these can be an excellent way to help kids of all ages and abilities to connect with the environment around them and explore their surroundings.
You should also consider any cultural or historical aspects of your community that you might want to incorporate into the playground. This can be achieved through the use of custom themed products, signage, artwork or even natural features. For example, the River Giants playground in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is built around two 23-foot heron sculptures that are ADA-compliant and designed to withstand Tulsa’s characteristic winds and tornadoes. It also includes several hidden nooks and spots where children can hide, as well as an array of interesting textures and handles.
Another way to add a sense of place is by including pretend play elements, like playhouses and shops. It’s important to think about how these will fit into the local culture, and what will set them apart from any other playhouses or shops that you might have seen elsewhere in the world. This can be a great way to add some local magic and make the playground a truly unique symbol of your community.