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Features of a Well-Designed School Playground

Features of a Well-Designed School Playground

Years of experience in the industry means the team at adventure+ understands precisely what goes into designing great playgrounds in Australian schools. Below, we look at the four most important considerations.

Good play space design is all about balance. Children should have the opportunity to challenge themselves and take safe risks without a significant likelihood of injuring themselves. Safe design requires expert skill to manage unnecessary risks while empowering students to grow and learn through safe challenges while playing.

Compliant with Safety Standards

Compliance with safety standards is one of the most important considerations for designing safe school playground equipment. Schools have a duty of care and are expected by parents to provide a safe and nurturing environment. Playground designers must have a detailed understanding of the safety guidelines and standards that apply. The trick is knowing how to create engaging playgrounds without compromising on safety.

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Age Appropriate

Children need equipment that is suited to their age and ability. This is crucial for ensuring the space in entertaining and supports their cognitive development, social skills, fine motor skills and physical fitness. A preschool playground will differ drastically from a primary school playground.

Preschool playground will typically focus on sensory and imaginative play elements, such as cubbies and interactive panels. Primary school aged children, on the other hand, tend to require more active play elements such as rope structures and monkey bars.

Features Diverse Physical Elements

Children need around 60 minutes of physical activity a day. This stimulates their development, improves fitness, strengthens muscles and reduces the risk of developing lifestyle diseases like heart conditions and type 2 diabetes. Studies show children are leading more sedentary lifestyles. Schools are the perfect place to encourage more physical activity.

Ensure play equipment caters to different types of physical activity. For example, monkey bars help build upper body strength while ropes and ladders provide a full body workout while strengthening joints. Swings are a great way to build core strength while play panels help younger children develop fine motor skills.

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Caters to Different Types of Play

Children have diverse preferences and needs when it comes to how they approach play. Some want active play with more strenuous physical activity while others may be drawn to play that encourages problem solving or focuses on socialising. Ensure your school playground caters to the different types of play:

  • Active – This includes running, jumping, bouncing, swinging, spinning and many other physical activities. Think slides, swings, trampolines and climbing structures.
  • Sensory – This involves stimulating childrens’ minds with equipment such as talking tubes, music or sound panels, mirror panels and activity panels with objects of varying sizes, shapes, textures and colours.
  • Imaginative – Playground equipment for imaginative play can include sand boxes, cubbies, diggers, telescopes, towers and themed play units where children can play make believe.
  • Social – Nest swings, slides, cubbies and tunnels are all great for facilitating social play where children learn to share, take turns and talk.
  • As spaces that burst with activity during lunch breaks, school playgrounds must also be designed with logistical considerations in mind, like traffic flow, landscaping, shade, site specifications and separation of age-appropriate play elements.

Contact adventure+ for Quality School Playgrounds

At adventure+, we have extensive experience designing school playgrounds of all shapes and sizes for children of all ages. Explore our range of school projects to see some of our previous work. We can discuss what play elements you’d like to include and create a custom playground for you. Call us today on 1300 237 587 or contact us online to get started.

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