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A multigenerational playground takes people of all ages and abilities into consideration. It’s an opportunity to facilitate play and meaningful interactions for families in a safe, comfortable place. The goal is to have different sections that are exciting and challenging for different age groups, while also ensuring accessibility and inclusivity for children with different mobility requirements.
Below, adventure+ looks at how to approach designing multigenerational playgrounds in Australia and the benefits of doing so.
When designing a multigenerational play area, ensure it meets the needs of the community it is catering to. Look at combining areas of inclusive play for members of the community with disabilities and those with sensory issues. For example, ensure there are wider enough gaps between play equipment, appropriate flooring and ramps for children using mobility aids.
Consider play for children of all ages, such as separate play equipment for different age groups. Separating play areas by age can make the playground less daunting for some very young children while giving older children the space to play in their own way. Senior and junior play areas don’t need to be far apart, but distinct areas can make children feel more comfortable.
Multigenerational playgrounds offer parents and grandparents the opportunity to entertain kids of varying ages in a single play area. Younger children don’t miss out by having age-appropriate imaginative and sensory play areas. Meanwhile, older kids don’t get bored, with play equipment designed to challenge and entertain them sufficiently. Multigenerational playgrounds also offer parents the opportunity to participate and interact with their kids in play areas while supervising.
Interacting with different generations, guardians or teachers offers children exposure to new ideas and learning experiences. These interactions can help them improve language and social skills, and family activity can help to reduce anxiety.
The youngest children can often get overlooked in playground design, with most equipment focused on school-aged children that is too difficult for the littlest ones to explore. Include playground elements that are low-level and easy to access. For example, a staircase instead of a challenging rope ladder to access a slide. Sensory and imaginative play elements, such as cubbies and interactive panels, are perfect for allowing very young children to develop critical social and cognitive skills.
Keep older children engaged with play equipment that challenges their fitness and excites them. For example, obstacle courses, bigger slides, flying foxes, towers and large rope structures to climb. This equipment encourages active play with more strenuous physical activity while engaging problem solving skills.
Hadspen Bull Run Reserve is a great example of a playground that caters for all age groups. While the play unit caters for both junior and senior children, the accessible paths and fitness station caters for all age groups, including older people. Another great example is the Norwood Hill Playground with something for everyone, with elements for both imaginative, sensory play , as well as challenging and active play opportunities.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our multigenerational playground designs, contact adventure+ online today or call 1300 237 587. Our modular playground equipment is designed to support customisation so we can cater to your specific needs, preferences and space limitations.