Everyone enjoys going to the playground for some outdoor activities. However, some playgrounds are better than others. Since getting out for a nice day of play can be difficult for some people, providing all the necessary amenities is essential. To do this, you must consider the quality of the space. People will likely go elsewhere if your playground is run-down or doesn't offer quality equipment. Here are a few tips and tricks to help your playground stand out.
Build Permanent Fixtures
One simple way to help your playground stand out is to add permanent fixtures that people can use to play sports and do activities. For example, hopscotch, basketball, and four square require markings on the ground. While kids can bring their own chalk, you should provide premarked spaces that are designed specifically for these games.
The best playground equipment will help kids develop their motor skills, build strength, and participate in social activities. Permanent fixtures will help get them going and allow them to exercise without having to set up the area each time they play.
Create Play Zones
While you're focusing on permanent fixtures, you should also consider how they're zoned. Slides, swings, and jungle gyms should each have their own area to ensure kids don't run into one another or crowd the individual spaces. Proper spacing can also add some nice aesthetics and make the play area look less cluttered.
By separating activities into zones, you can encourage kids to participate in smaller groups, keeping them safe while promoting vigorous play. It's also easier for parents to keep an eye on their kids when there is a clear separation between each piece of equipment.
When designing your playground, you should focus on more than just the play area. While you must have slides, swings, and climbable structures, other amenities—such as restrooms, seating, and parking areas—make the playground more appealing to parents who want to bring their kids for a day out. Likewise, picnic tables, trash cans, and water fountains allow families to stay longer and enjoy the weather.
However, keeping all your amenities in good condition is essential. Otherwise, they could end up making the space less desirable.
Include Shaded Structures
You should also include shaded structures in your playground. The sun can pose risks to parents and their children any time of year—especially when it gets hot out. Therefore, providing a comfortable place for visitors to rest and cool down will help your playground stand out.
Roofs, umbrellas, and playground shades are great for blocking direct sunlight. They'll help cool the temperatures around a space and give occupants a reprieve from the heat. By reducing UV exposure, shaded structures help users avoid sunburns and other health issues.
Incorporate Natural Elements
Incorporating natural elements into your playground will also help it stand out. Trees, ponds, and grassy fields will make the space feel more natural and inviting, allowing people to take in the outdoors and enjoy their time to the fullest.
Natural elements can also make the space feel more comfortable. Trees provide shade, and ponds help cool the area down. Their inclusion helps kids learn about and appreciate nature so they can connect with the world around them. They may even get to see animals such as birds and deer.
Install a Playground Border
For parents concerned about safety, installing a playground border can make the space much more attractive. By creating a physical boundary around the play area, you can give children visual cues that help them understand where it's safe to go.
Playground borders also make it easier for parents to keep an eye on their kids. With the addition of a plastic playground border, it becomes obvious when children are getting too far from the play area. Furthermore, installing a playground border will reduce the need for maintenance and upkeep, especially if you use fill-in surfacing.
Use Practical Surfacing
You'll also want to consider the type of playground surfacing you use for your playground if you're going to attract more visitors. Suitable surfacing will reduce the risk of accidents and injuries while making the space more fun to play in.
Common surfacing materials include sand, cement, woodchips, and gravel. However, most of these solutions are either difficult to maintain or don't offer adequate protection to children. Pour-in-place rubber surfacing is both safe and easy to maintain, although it can be a bit more costly to install.
Perform Regular Maintenance
It won't matter what types of equipment and facilities you have in your playground if you don't keep up with maintenance. Foul weather, vandalism, and general use will most likely leave the area in need of attention. Waiting to do the necessary work will only make things worse.
When performing regular maintenance tasks, you should watch out for hazardous items such as broken glass, sharp or protruding edges, and small holes or divots in the ground. Carefully check metal surfaces for rust and replace damaged equipment to ensure everything stays in good shape.
Make the Space Accessible
If you really want to make your playground inviting, you should focus on accessibility for individuals with mobility issues. Offering a mix of play experiences will ensure everyone can enjoy the space. Putting in rubber edges, adding traction to stairs, and using ground-level equipment can dramatically improve the experience for all visitors.
You'll also want to consider how easy it is to get to the play area. Paved sidewalks, ramps, and accessible parking areas will make visitors feel more comfortable using your playground. Be sure to include all the necessary signage to communicate which areas are designated for play and which should remain off-limits.
Make the Most Out of Available Resources
No matter what you decide to include in your playground, you should consider your options and try to maximize what's available. The fundamentals are enough of a draw for most people, but going the extra mile to provide some extra features is always nice. Installing and maintaining unique equipment and facilities can make a huge difference in how your playground feels. With these tips and tricks to help your playground stand out, you'll have the most popular attraction in town.