Playgrounds and parks are the places of many firsts. First birthdays, the first place you learn to ride a bike, the first place you make a friend, the first time you graze a knee or the first time you enjoy the wind in your hair as you swing into the sky. Playgrounds are a place where generations of Australians create first memories. They help to battle obesity and increasing screen time, along with contributing to create stronger, healthier and more playful communities. Designing a playground may seem as easy as child’s play, however, to create a playground that buzzes with activity there are a few things to consider.
Luckily for us, Urban Play partners with global leading playground and fitness manufacturers KOMPAN. KOMPAN is backed by the KOMPAN Play Institute. A unit of play specialists, dedicated to developing, documenting and researching play and playgrounds. The KOMPAN Play Institute has been part of developing, researching and testing playgrounds since the 1980s. There is no other play company in the world that has such a dedicated institute behind it.
The below design tips are based on research from the KOMPAN Play Institute. A study that examined what makes a playground more visited and interesting from a user perspective. Read it here.
“Research revealed that over 76% of the 262 people interviewed said they would travel up to 40km for a great playgrond if it stands out from other playgrounds.” KOMPAN Play Insitute,
A recent Instagram poll from local Gold Coast blogger, Mrs Lardeedah corroborates this with 83 people (out of 145) stating they would travel up to 40km for a playground. To design a playground that attracts families and children, much more is needed than bespoke and custom play elements.The equipment needs to be packed full of play elements that has holding power that encourages children to want to come back time and time again.
To design a playground that attracts families and children, much more is needed than bespoke and custom play elements.The equipment needs to be packed full of play element that has holding power and encourages children to want to come back time and time again.
From the KOMPAN Play Institute – 5 recommendations for designing attractive public playgrounds:
- Choose unique playground equipment, something that stands out from what other nearby playgrounds have.
- Choose a wide variety of playground equipment for all ages and abilities, appealing to parents who influence their children’s playground visits.
- Remember playground equipment for the youngest children as most of the users were below 5 years.
- Make sure the playground has WOW factor. People will drive a long distance to visit an innovative playground.
- Have transparency in design to ensure easy parental supervision.
By creating a playground that wows, you are creating a place that supports economic, social and physical growth. A well-designed playground fosters community engagement, boosts the popularity of the suburb which has a flow-on effect for local businesses and encourages families to live stronger, healthier and more playful lives.
If you are looking to design a school playground, destination playground, pocket park, outdoor gym or a water park. Get in touch with the Urban Play team, who are backed by years of experience and research.