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How to Evaluate Your School Playground


29 Apr 2021

Overcoming playground evaluation challenges

It can be challenging to evaluate whether your school playground needs to be updated or replaced. Older playground equipment may still be popular due to lack of alternatives, but newer additions can add much more play value, safety, and inclusion.

To assess the compliance of your playground, a playground audit can be undertaken by a professional and experienced inspector. In some cases, your playground may require repairs to ensure it is compliant. As the playground reaches its life expectancy, you will need to decide when to replace the playground.

Should you decide to renew or entirely replace your playground, our designers can help develop a concept that meets your specifications, adds enormous play and learning value, engages all children, and complies with Australian standards.

However, as a starting point, you can undertake your own unofficial evaluation to decide if your playground serves its purpose or if your playground is due for redevelopment.

What to Look for in a Playground

How do children use your playground?

If your playground isn’t busy, then that’s a sure sign that it isn’t serving its purpose. The design of the playground may not suit your students’ needs, and may be too easy, or not challenging enough, or simply out of date.

Additionally, it’s important to assess how long children play on the playground for. A well-designed playground will engage children for a long period of time.

(good playground designers) should realise and recognise that the physical abilities of children, their vision and mental concentration are different from those of adults and vary within and between age groups.

ACT City Services

Does your playground suit the students’ ages and interests?

If your playground is not age appropriate then children won’t get full benefits of play, may feel excluded, and may be at risk of injury.

While a separate area for senior and junior children is ideal, many schools can’t afford it or don’t have the space available. Therefore, many schools opt for a multi age playground.

Whether you have a multi-age playground or separate play areas, age appropriate design principals should dictate the design where different physical sizes and abilities match the intended age group.

Are there a range of play activities?

Playgrounds need to offer a wide range of activities for well-rounded body and mind development. For example: a playground shouldn’t consist of just monkey bars or just nature experiences, it should house a variety of play opportunities that suit all children’s interests, abilities, and age groups.

However, to meet so many different purposes, your playground design needs to be done right. A good playground will challenge children’s physical development, mental development, social skills, and more.

Alternatively, if you are working with an existing playground, introducing new play elements may help.

Is your playground large enough for the number of students?

In recent months, we have all become alert to the problem of overcrowding in public spaces, and school playgrounds are no different. If you have noticed that your playground is overcrowded, then it is time to do something about it.

Like public spaces, primary school playgrounds are subject to peak use/high traffic periods. Managing this high level of occupancy is essential to the success of your playground and its play value.

Installing a bigger playground or expanding your current playground sites is a great way to combat playground overcrowding.

However, if your school grounds are limited, don’t hesitate to contact play equipment manufacturers who can customise equipment. Experienced playground designers can work with small areas to create engaging playgrounds that are just as beneficial as a larger play spaces

Is maintenance an issue?

Are you constantly having to repair your playground? This is a tell-tale sign that your playground may need replacement. Playgrounds should require little to no repairs on a regular basis.

Often schools think a new playground isn’t worth the cash investment, but over several years the cost of maintenance can be very expensive.

We Take Play Seriously

adventure+ specialise in the design and installation of playgrounds Australia wide. Our playgrounds are designed in accordance with Australian safety standards and are informed by decades of experience. We know kids and that’s why we take play seriously.

We work directly with school boards, councils and individual contractors to design, manufacture and install the most engaging playgrounds and play equipment Australia has to offer.

In all of our projects, play value, play safety and community enjoyment is carefully evaluated. In all of our designs we aim to offer children, their families, teachers and carers the best possible experience.

Call us today on 1300 237 587 to talk about your next playground.

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