Outdoor Playground Design – Creating a Natural Playscape Part 3

child on playground balance
We hope you have enjoyed the first two parts of our article on creating natural playscapes. In this final portion of the article, we will wrap up the discussion.

Other Equipment Pieces

In part two of this article, we highlighted swings and slides as two pieces of play equipment you won’t want to skip in your design. Here, we’d like to touch on some of the other various pieces that you may wish to consider.

• Balance toys. Learning to balance is a great developmental step, and one which can be a lot of fun on the playground. There are plenty of playground balance toys available, and you should be sure to pick out a selection that will serve the various ages of those visiting your play area.
• A playhouse. This isn’t necessarily a traditional piece of ‘playground equipment’, but it just may become one of the most popular areas in the entire playscape. A small playhouse where kids can make up different scenes and act out adventures with one another could help to forge friendships that will last for years.
• Water and sand area. If you want to allow the kids to get a little dirty, a dedicated sand play space – with perhaps a source of water nearby so they can build sand structures – is sure to be a hit. The challenge with including this kind of play area is keeping the sand clean and protecting the various toys (buckets, shovels) that you may include to help the kids build.
There are plenty of other equipment options that you may wish to consider along the way, but this list is a good start. Think about the space you have available, and the kids you will be serving, before making your final choices.

The Functional Side

The fun part of designing a playscape is thinking about the various equipment pieces you can add, and the way you can shape the area to encourage kids to have a great time. However, beyond the fun and games, you’ll also need to think about the practical design of the property. Where are parents going to park when bringing kids to play? Where will you install bathrooms? What about benches for parents or grandparents to sit on while the kids play, and maybe picnic tables for lunch? There are a lot of things to consider before the whole design is going to come together as a cohesive unit.

Take Your Time

Ideally, you will be able to take your time with this playground design, working through the various possibilities until you come up with something that meets all of the project’s needs. You might only take on this kind of project one time in your entire career, so take your time to consider various possibilities and keep an open mind at the start. As you work through the process, certain ideas will stand out as the right way to go. Thank you for taking the time to review our three-part article, and good luck!