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4 Playground Design Trends in 2023

Emerging playground trends in 2023

With the numerous playground designs we create each year, we’ve seen specific trends emerge and gain popularity among playground enthusiasts. From new styles to the latest developments in equipment developments, the playground industry is constantly adapting to meet the needs and desires of children and communities.

In this blog, we will delve into four major trends that are shaping the playground industry in 2023:

  1. The trend towards more challenging and active play equipment that encourages children to push themselves physically and mentally.
  2. The importance of inclusivity in play, with an increasing focus on creating playgrounds that are accessible and engaging for all children, regardless of ability.
  3. The trend towards achieving a more natural look in playground design, even if natural materials are not always used.
  4. The growing trend of creating play spaces that cater to a broader range of ages, from toddlers to teenagers, to encourage play for all.

Active & Challenging Play

Recently there has also been a growing trend towards active and challenging play. Principals and educators increasingly seek equipment that challenges students, such as higher platforms and more challenging activities. Community play space designers are also looking to create playgrounds that challenge users of all ages.

With increased screen time becoming prevalent, encouraging active play is more important than ever. By promoting physical activity through playgrounds that challenge children, communities can help build healthy habits and set them up for success in the future.

This rising trend has a direct correlation to the rise in demand for the more physically challenging ninja course style playground. Many schools have recognized the benefits of this modern equipment style for promoting physical activity and friendly competition. For instance, Arnolds Creek has installed a ninja course to encourage students to be more active and engaged. This trend towards dynamic and challenging play is an encouraging development, as it helps children build strength, agility, and confidence while having fun.

Project Showcase - Arnolds Creek Primary School6
Arnolds Creek Primary School

Inclusive Play

Inclusive play has become an increasingly important aspect of play space design in recent years, and this trend is likely to continue in 2023. Inclusive play refers to the idea that all children, regardless of their abilities, should have access to play spaces and equipment that allow them to participate fully and enjoy playtime. This means creating play spaces that are accessible, inclusive, and safe for children with a range of abilities, including those with physical or cognitive disabilities.

This does not just mean selecting inclusive play equipment but also designing the play space to accommodate a range of abilities. For example, play spaces may be designed with sensory experiences in mind, including areas incorporating tactile elements, sound, and other sensory features that all children can enjoy.

Inclusive Playgrounds4 - Highbury Park
Highbury Park

Natural Playgrounds

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards natural-themed playgrounds that incorporate elements of nature into the design. While not necessarily made entirely of natural materials, these playgrounds feature characteristics such as natural colours, textures, shapes, vegetation, and other natural features.

In 2023, this trend is expected to continue as designers try to bring more nature into urban areas and create play spaces that are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Natural-themed playgrounds can provide children with opportunities to explore and connect with nature and promote physical activity and creative play.

Designers also experiment with new materials and combinations to create more exciting and dynamic playgrounds. For example, steel structures can be clad in timber or other natural materials to create a more organic and natural feel. This combination of materials makes a unique and engaging aesthetic appealing to children and adults.

Electra Reserve

Multigenerational Play

Multigenerational playgrounds, catering to children, teenagers, and parents, are on the rise as communities recognize the benefits of creating play spaces that cater to all age groups. These playgrounds provide a variety of activities and experiences that can be enjoyed by people of different ages, making them more inclusive and accessible to everyone.

For children, multigenerational playgrounds offer a mix of traditional play equipment such as swings, slides, and climbing structures but also incorporate more innovative and interactive elements such as musical instruments, sensory play equipment, and technology-based games. This combination of traditional and modern elements provides an engaging and stimulating environment that appeals to children of all ages and abilities.

Teenagers also benefit from multigenerational playgrounds, which offer more challenging physical activities such as obstacle courses, fitness stations, and skate parks. These activities promote physical fitness, build confidence, and encourage socialization. Teenagers can also find areas for socializing and relaxation, such as seating areas, hammocks, and outdoor games like ping pong or foosball.

For parents, multigenerational playgrounds provide exercise equipment, walking paths, and other features that promote healthy activity and outdoor recreation. Parents can also enjoy comfortable seating areas and amenities like picnic tables, shade structures, and restrooms. Including amenities for parents makes multigenerational playgrounds a destination for families rather than just a playground for children.

Jubilee Park Project Img 6 - adventure+
Jubilee Park

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