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Children of all ages look for challenges in playground equipment, so it’s vital that the playground equipment with which they’re presented is appropriate for their age group, and will ensure they’re safe at play. Read on for playground equipment tips.
We know that children learn and develop their confidence through play. We’re also aware that they can develop best when presented with age-appropriate equipment that stimulates and is developmentally appropriate.
A factor that is often overlooked in playground equipment and play areas, especially for school playgrounds and local government play areas, is to design playgrounds that are versatile enough to be accessible to all children, from toddlers to 12-year-olds.
A well-designed playground will provide sufficient space for the older children to be more adventurous, and also a less challenging area that’s more suited to younger children. It will cater to the developmental needs of children from all age groups and provide mental as well as physical challenges.
Another struggle is designing playgrounds that not only stimulate children’s imaginations and allow all ages to test their limits, allowing children to stretch themselves and discover their abilities without harming themselves or others.
Importantly, it’s critical that all playground installations are adult-accessible so a parent or carer is capable of rescuing a child should he or she get stuck while testing their limits.
In an ideal scenario, a school playground or council play space would have separate equipment for younger and older children. However, in some cases, only a single piece of equipment will be possible due to budget and space restrictions, so the equipment will need to be suitable for children of varying ages. See an example of a multi-age playground design here.
Where a variety of ages need to use a single piece of playground equipment, there’ll be some compromise, in equipment height or type of activity, or even the way in which children gain access.
However, it’s possible to design a playground using an innovative combination of playground equipment that appeals to all age groups through the spectrum. For example, a double slide with easy access is appealing to older children to use on their own or with friends while toddlers might prefer mum or dad to accompany them.
Another common age-appropriate playground design is to have one end of a play space suitable for juniors which includes lower and easier to use components, and more challenging, higher components at the opposite end for senior users.
(That said, it’s surprising how brave a toddler can be, given the right playground equipment and allowed their independence.)
It’s worth thinking twice before charging ahead with a new commercial playground installation.
At adventure+, we design, manufacture and install high-quality, innovative playground equipment. We have a proven track record of delivering customised playground solutions for early learning centres, schools and local councils.
If you’re an educator, or local government landscape architect or project manager, you’ll understand that it isn’t enough to choose equipment from a catalogue and drop it on to a site without analysing your target users and the site, and ensuring the equipment is compliant with Australian safety standards.
We work with you to ascertain the intended age group, desired site features, budget and architectural requirements. Then we get to work to create a unique playground for your children. Our vast range of styles and types of playground equipment means that your playground will be uniquely suited to your users and the space it occupies.
Our design team has extensive playground design experience so you can have peace of mind that their design for your playground will delight not only the users but also your bottom line.
Best of all, our team is fully conversant with the relevant Australian Standards including AS 4685-2014, so you can rest easy, knowing that you’ll be receiving challenging and engaging playground equipment that is safe and age-appropriate.
Do you have a playground challenge? Our team is here and ready to help.