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26 Mar 2021
When planning a new playground or playground upgrade, there are many simple and effective landscaping elements that you can introduce that can help improve the play experience for children.
As leaders in playground design, adventure+ often see how even small changes can produce big results.
When it comes to landscaping, there are learning benefits as well as aesthetic advantages to updating your playground with small landscaping features included in the design – and it doesn’t have to cost the earth, either.
In this blog we give a brief overview of some of the playground landscaping features and ideas that can improve the profile of your playground and attract more visits from children and their families.
Playgrounds provide children with opportunities to imagine, explore, create and experience the world with all their senses. All of these actions enrich children’s cognitive development, and the introduction of plants and other landscaping elements within a playground is a very simple and effective way to boost this process. Child-friendly plants and materials provide interesting colours, textures, fragrances and even sounds that stimulate nerve connections in the brain’s pathways.
Fragrant perennials, flowering trees and bushes chosen for their colour and texture can help break up play zones and provide visual appeal.
Landscaping elements can also be used to enhance and refine your playground colour palette and effortlessly blend into the local flora.
An attractive playground draws the local community, but for schools and councils, well-chosen landscaping elements can be used to pay homage to the area’s history and native wildlife.
Landscaping elements also provide significant sensory value for children and families. Fallen leaves, flowers and branches provide loose play materials with a wide variety of colours, textures and scents that change with the seasons. Finally, trees, garden beds and other plantings attract local birds, insects and butterflies, which allow children to experience different sounds.
Log and rock features can be used to frame the playground and help blend it into the surrounding area. Log and large rocks are also great for balancing games and double as a seat for children to sit down on and relax. Rocks and boulders also demarcate your play space without looking harsh or too commercialised.
Landscaping features such as trees and rocks provide natural rest spots within your playground design with the added bonus of privacy from the surrounding area, something which is especially important if your playground is in an urban zone or near a busy road. Landscaping elements can be used to create a natural ‘screen’ which makes the playground feel secure and relaxing.
Different kinds of ground surfacing, from mulch to grass to bright impact-attenuating playground surfacing can improve the safety and ensure compliance, along with the appearance of your playground. In the case of grass, you also add a convenient picnic area for families.
Logs and stepping stones look fantastic around a play space and add a natural element. Children love to jump and skip between logs and stones, and it develops their balance and coordination. Logs and stones are often used to blend traditional playground equipment into natural features such as a garden bed or border.
Mounds can be incorporated into playground equipment or used to create interesting sloping surfaces for climbing and rolling games. They can also be used to support a slide or bridge or walkway into the playground. Excess soil on site is a great opportunity to introduce a mound in the playground. Read more about mounds here.
Plantings are an easy and affordable way to bring natural shade into your playground. Shady spots are ideal for those hot days and provide protection from the afternoon sun. Overhanging trees also provide pleasant areas for families to picnic and spend quality time outdoors together.
Children love to follow a path. Paths provide a sense of adventure and a road map for games like follow-the-leader. Pathways can easily be added with landscaping materials such as rubber, mulch and granitic sand and make an immediate impact upon completion.
At adventure+ we excel at creating playgrounds that provide maximum play value to children, parents and the wider community. We work directly with schools, councils and landscape architects to design, manufacture and install the most effective, playground units and play equipment.
We also offer site preparation and ancillary works such as edging, surfacing, minor landscaping works, outdoor seating, and shade structures, to provide you with the highest value playground experience.
Call us today on 1300 237 587 to talk about your next playground.