Have you ever thought about what goes into the design of those playground structures we see at schools, parks and even in the backyards of residential living facilities and churches. There are seven (7) principles that designers consider when designing and manufacturing effective playgrounds.
1. Fun Playgrounds Need to Also be Safe: Safety is the most important key when it comes to children but making a playground as safe as possible is more difficult than it sounds. These factors must be considered:
- Location of the playground, accounting for dangerous traffic or pollution and the possibility of adult supervision.
- Age-appropriate activities, toddlers versus elementary aged children.
- All materials and sizing must meet area regulations, through knowledge of local and federal codes and the means to adhere to them.
- Plan against playground deterioration that could pose a hazard over time.
2. Natural Settings Should be Enhanced by a Playground: The best playgrounds find a way to make the most of its location. In a rural setting, local plants can be placed to surround the playground or local materials can be used within the playground.In an urban area, a playground may be built with sleek materials that complement the cityscapes.
3. Playgrounds Need to Engage all Senses: A good playground should assist in engaging a child on all sensory levels.
4. Changes for Kids: Children need opportunities to test their capabilities in physical activity. this means areas to rough house and climb, as well as places to play sports and other organized games.
5. Playgrounds Serve as Community Structures: Good playgrounds are designed in such a way that they can be used by multiple children in order to help develop their social and communication skills.
6. Design Should Consider the Environment: Though meeting the needs of children is a top priority, some designers choose to use sustainable materials such as recycled plastic or untreated wood.
7. Playgrounds Should Change as Children do: The best playground recognize the specific needs of both toddlers and kindergarteners. Play options should be offered for multiple age groups and long-lasting playgrounds incorporate activities for various learning levels.
There is always more to a playground than what you see at first sight. A lot of hard work goes into making sure playground are safe, educational, and considerate to the environment.