Designing Playground Equipment

Playground equipment designers today are more likely to be talking about the environmental impact of play equipment and understanding how children can be stimulated to learn through play, and how the imagination can be sparked within the child. This is a much better proposition than the aged idea of ‘just keeping them off the streets’.

Even school playground equipment has taken on board that to be creative, play is an integral part of a child’s development, school’s are even incorporating mathematical thinking into P.E lessons. The use of multi use games areas otherwise known as MUGA, has been an innovative step towards creating a more functional use of children’s outdoor playground equipment, the need for space decreases, as the multi activity of the area is designed to fit into the space available, thus negating a huge area for sports, however ideal this maybe.

Innovative play equipment is available to get children moving and enjoying play through all developmental stages of their growing years. The varied designs from climbing rocks to trail equipment is designed to give children confidence in their abilities and to encourage them to develop team building skills and keep them highly active.

A lot of playground designers are now incorporating the natural world into their designs, giving teachers and pupils the ability to interact with nature, from gardening to bird watching. The development of the sensory gardens is far removed from the cold hard metal framed play areas of the past. These sensory areas provide stimulation for children with health issues, encouraging touching of the various textures and listening for the sounds of various wind chimes.

Incorporating all age groups into playground design is required, however when children reach secondary level of schooling the needs for imaginative play reduces and more focus is placed upon the athletic ability and teamwork, the MUGA systems mentioned earlier are designed with this age group in mind also. These systems encourage all over body co-ordination for the use of football and other net sports, such as basketball.

As the teen age is difficult to keep interested, school play ground specialists also need to think about the technology this age group uses and school shelters are beginning to see the use of Bluetooth youth shelters making their way onto the playground.

For anybody seeking to have an overhaul of their school or communal playground there is funding for playgrounds and most reputable playground designers will be happy to supply information regarding sourcing funds for your new project.

About The Author

Written by Pete Tooley, a former teacher who now designs outdoor play areas for schools using eco-friendly school playground equipment. The use of outdoor classrooms can have amazing results and a opens up a whole a new way of teaching.

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Category: Mother Care

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