The Top 6 Playground Trends for 2022

smiling girl peeking through soccer net

2021 saw a lot of changes in every aspect of our lives, including how our kids play and socialize on playgrounds. 2022 promises some changes of its own, from outdoor play equipment design to an increased emphasis on eco-friendly commercial play spaces. Here are the top playground trends for the new year.

1. Side-by-Side Play For All Generations

Intergenerational play is beneficial for both adults and children alike. Children who play with their caregivers form much tighter bonds with them, and it’s been proven that adults who play with children see mental and physical health benefits. Playground equipment design in 2022 will focus on finding ways to bring all generations together for shared play experiences.

2. Themed Playgrounds Embrace History, Nature, and Culture

The current themes of playgrounds may focus largely on fairytale or whimsical designs, but there is a definite shift in a new direction. Playgrounds are featuring realistic designs, such as firehouses, train stations, and historical eras. These playgrounds are meant to raise awareness of the historical and cultural significance of the playground’s location and foster curiosity to learn more.

3. Adding Fitness Parks to Playgrounds

Why should kids have all the fun? 2022 will see even more inclusion of fitness areas and outdoor fitness equipment to play spaces across the US. These will encourage adults to focus on their own fitness while their kids play on the adjacent equipment. All will be welcome to these fitness parks whether they are parents, caregivers, or health-conscious neighbors looking to establish their own fitness routines.

4. Inclusive Play

A continuing playground trend for 2022 will be designing playgrounds that encourage inclusive play. These will include elements that allow children of all abilities and ages to play together, side-by-side, while also incorporating equipment that provides quiet spaces and supports different stages of play, such as onlooker play, associative play, solitary play, and cooperative play.

5. Emphasis on Youth Sports and Recreational Activities

While 2021 saw a decrease in team participation sports, 2022 is shaping up to place a larger emphasis on recreational activities, clubs, and sports. It’s been proven that sports play an important role in childhood development, and playground owners and managers should prepare to bring them back to the play environment.

6. Eco-Friendly Approach

Environmentally-friendly solutions are fast becoming a part of every industry, and playgrounds are no exception. Whether it’s using recycled materials, such as rubber, for playground surfacing or increasing recycling efforts within the play area, playgrounds will turn to an even more targeted eco-friendly approach to the trends shaping our future.

Let Metro Recreation Design Your Playground in 2022

With a large selection of commercial and themed playground equipment for schools, parks, and more, Metro Recreation is ready to help you reimagine your play area. Contact us and let’s see where 2022 will take your imagination!