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Pros and Cons of Different Types of Playgrounds

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Playgrounds

When planning a playground upgrade or project, the choices can seem endless. From an outdoor play tower to adventurous Ninja Courses, it can be difficult to know which play unit to choose.

There are many different types of playgrounds that can be selected to provide play to children, but not every play unit will be suitable for your particular project.

In this blog, we will look at the pros and cons of the most common types of play units. However, before selecting playground equipment for your project, you first need to consider:

  • What is the outcome you are wanting to create? What is your objective?
  • What else is in the play area or surrounding areas?
  • What age group is going to use the playground?

As you will notice there is no right or wrong answer, but ideally the play unit you choose will offer versatility and a wide range of play experiences. The combination units stand out particularly in this regard.

Combination Play Units

Available in timber and steel, our Combination Play Units boasts many different levels and a network of play opportunities.


  • Variety of play types included within one area, for example, physical play opportunities with equipment like monkey bars, as well as imaginative play features through themed elements.
  • Caters for different age groups and interests.
  • Caters for a lot of children to use at once. Combination play units can accommodate up to 60 children, depending on the size of the playground.
  • At adventure+, our combination play units can be customised to suit a particular budget or site, or even a style or theme.
  • Great value for money.


  • Can be seen as too commercialised and takes away from self-directed play, although with careful design this can be mitigated.

Rope Play Structures

Our Rope Structures consist of complex rope jungles that hang from a secure steel pipework frame. Our Rope Structures are carefully researched and proven to provide specialised frame connection and rope tensioning points, so they stand the test of time.


  • A great way to maximize climbing play safely.
  • Less common than combination play units so can be an interesting draw card.
  • Great for older children that are looking for a bigger challenge as well as a social activity – older children often gravitate to rope structures for talking and socialising.


  • Limited amount of play experiences. For example, rope structures don’t directly address imaginative or sensory project requirements.
  • Sometimes it is difficult to include very young children on rope structures, such as toddlers.

Ninja Obstacle Courses

From start to finish, Ninja Courses are a huge amount of fun for kids of all ages. Our Ninja Courses comprise a range of challenging activities around an easy-to-follow track that are fun, provide much needed physical development, and help keep children busily engaged in play. 


  • Excellent for older children that are looking for a challenge. They provide the physical play element and play an important part in developing upper body strength.
  • Can be doubled up as not only a piece of play equipment but also as a warmup routine for physical education lessons.


  • Can’t fit as many students as a standard piece of playground equipment as the users need to wait for their turn around the course.

Nature Playgrounds

Often developed as part of our Ancillary Works, Nature Playgrounds are designed to bring children closer to nature through simple landscape elements, such as rock gardens, plant borders, and water features.


  • Adds relaxing pockets to the playground for family activities like picnics.
  • Bring children in touch with nature and sensory play.
  • Great for younger age groups.


  • Don’t provide much in the way of physical play, such as fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and upper body development.
  • Difficult to maintain and keep tidy.
  • The play value is low for the expense

Free Standing Equipment

Free standing equipment covers things like monkey bars and carousels and spinners. As the name suggests, free standing play equipment is freestanding and sits away from the larger play unit.


  • Free standing equipment is stand alone and can fill gaps in the design.
  • Can cater for a range of different age groups.
  • Creates play opportunities where large playground units can’t fit.


  • They don’t join to other equipment.
  • Limited play potential.

We Take Play Seriously

adventure+ love playgrounds. 
We work directly with schools, councils, and proprietors to design and install safe, durable, and engaging playgrounds that last.
Call us today on 1300 237 587 to talk about your next play project.

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