Ready to build your first children’s playground? Here are some tips that might come in handy
Children naturally gravitate towards playgrounds as they provide them with opportunities to explore, engage in exciting activities, and experience amazing adventures.
But playgrounds are not just places where kids can have fun and spend their free time. These spaces also play a very important role in their development, as they help children gain and improve a wide variety of abilities – from communication to fine and gross motor skills – build body awareness, and increase confidence and self-esteem. In other words, playgrounds help children learn and grow through play.
Wouldn’t it be great if kids could have free and easy access to a playground so they can play and run around without a care in the world? Well, if you’re lucky enough to have a garden or a backyard, you can use this space to build a playground that your children can enjoy whenever they want. Apart from proximity and convenience, having a playground right outside your house will also give you peace of mind as a parent since you’ll be able to keep an eye on your kids at all times.
However, designing and building a children’s playground is no child’s play. If you want to put your DIY skills to the test and build a playground for your kids on your own, you’ll need all the support you can get. So, here are some very useful tips that can help you nail this project and create the most amazing children’s playground without emptying your bank account.
Assess your space
Before you start thinking about the design of the playground, or the outdoor play equipment that you’re going to include in it, you first have to consider the space you have at your disposal. You might want to build an intricate and fun playground with all sorts of elements and surprises, but if you don’t have the necessary space to put your vision into practice, your efforts will be in vain.
So, the first aspect you have to focus on is space and how you can make the most of it. This will help you take advantage of every square centimetre and design a playground that will suit your children’s needs and preferences.
It doesn’t matter how nice and fun a playground might look – if it’s not safe, you shouldn’t allow your kids to go near it. Children are not aware of the risks and dangers that playgrounds may pose, so it’s up to you to keep them safe and protected. Therefore, children’s safety should be your main priority when building a playground. You have to take all the necessary precautions to minimise risks and hazards as much as possible.
For that, you can draw inspiration from reputable manufacturers like Wickey who specialize in building high-quality climbing frames, swings, sandpits, playhouses, and other accessories that ensure a fun and child-safe environment on the playground. Make sure you only use quality materials that are durable and reliable and don’t forget to cover the area surrounding the playground with a soft material to attenuate potential falls and accidents.
Consider different types of play
A lot of adults think that there’s just one way to play, when in fact children use different types of play to explore and discover the world around them, such as:
- physical play – children engage in all types of physical activities like jumping, climbing, running, dancing, etc.
- social play – it involves playing different roles,
- creative play – children imagine and invent all sorts of things and situations
- constructive play – it gives children the possibility to put their ideas into practice by building and creating things
Obviously, there are many other play styles apart from the ones we’ve mentioned. Therefore, when creating a playground, it’s important to take this aspect into consideration and design spaces that encourage different types of play, so there’s a bit of something for everyone in it.
Create a layout that ensures a good flow
You might think that a clear separation of the elements on the playground and a purely logical design will help you build the perfect recreational space. But remember that children are not little robots, so they don’t follow a logical sequence when playing. They most often jump from one activity to another, suddenly changing directions, so following rules and reason is not exactly their strong suit.
Instead of going for a rigid and limitative design, try to focus on creating a good flow in your layout. Having interconnected components will ensure freedom of movement and flexibility on the playground, so children can explore at ease and simply go with the flow.
Focus on experiences rather than looks
Try not to stress too much about looks as you build the playground. Children couldn’t care less if the slide is blue or neon green, nor if the swing set has a pattern on its seats. Sure, these design elements make for nice touches, but that’s not what matters most for kids. What’s truly important is the experiences that the playground provides.
Don’t build a playground that looks too pretty to be used. Build one that is filled with secrets and surprises, and that encourages children to play, explore and use their imagination. The whole point is to make the play experience as exciting and entertaining as possible.
Make your own rules
Keep in mind there’s no such thing as the perfect playground – or there is but it means different things to different people. Some kids love climbing features, others prefer swings or playing in the sandbox. Preferences also differ based on age and skills, which is why you should gather all your family members for a brainstorming session and see what works best for your situation. And if you don’t get things right the first time, don’t worry about it. You can always make tweaks and changes to your project until you, or better said your kids, are happy with the result.
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