Do you want to be certain of having a playground tailored to your needs? We have gathered some information here about what you should think about when designing a playground.

There is more to a playground than meets the eye. It is not just a question of placing a couple of pieces of play equipment next to each other; in fact it requires a surprising amount of thought – at least if you want to make the most of the equipment. A well-designed playground improves the children’s play experience, reduces playground conflicts and ensures that there is room for everyone. Our knowledgeable dealers are always ready to advise and guide you, but it often helps if you have done some thinking yourself beforehand. Therefore, we have gathered all the relevant information you need to help you start planning your dream playground.

What to consider before planning the playground

Before you start putting together a playground, it is important to answer two questions: How many children will use the playground? And how old are they? The number of children and their ages have a bearing on which play equipment is most suitable, and how many pieces of equipment are needed. For example, if the playground has too few activities for the number of children, this can lead to unnecessary conflicts. Therefore, it is important to know whether the playground should be able to cater for 10 children at a time – or 70.

In order for children to make the most of a playground, it is also important that it is tailored to the age group in question. In this way, you ensure that the play equipment supports and creates value for the children’s development. To accommodate a wide age group, you can combine different pieces of play equipment or choose play systems with several play zones.

Types of play and playground synergies

The playground should always be seen in its entirety and not as individual pieces of play equipment. To achieve the right positioning of the various pieces of play equipment, you need to consider different types of play and the potential for synergies.

Different types of play

Different types of play equipment are designed for different types of play. For example, play systems, swings and carousels are good for energetic activities, and designed for children to use their bodies and gross motor skills. In a different category, we have playhouses, play panels and sandboxes, where children need peace and quiet to immerse themselves in the activities. The two types of play both need to be taken into consideration for children to have the best play experiences. Therefore, it is best to have a certain amount of distance between the different pieces of play equipment, or to group them so that the children playing boisterous games do not disturb those engaged in quiet activities.

What are playground synergies?

Playground synergies arise when two or more pieces of play equipment can be combined to create extra play value or benefits that otherwise would not have existed. For example, play activities for the youngest children can be placed close to tables and benches. In this way, the adults can better keep an eye on the little ones, while the young children can play safely within sight of their parents or childcare professionals. This improves everybody’s experience of the playground and makes a positive difference.

How do we create playground synergies?

When developing our play equipment and theme worlds, we always bear in mind how we can create synergies at the playground. Therefore, it is often possible to combine the pieces of equipment in ways that increase the scope for play.

In our LEDON Explore series, positioning the off-roader close to a play system can involve more children in role-playing, in the same way that our rocking raft can be placed next to our pirate ship from LEDON Pirates. This grows the play potential, and new games can start when children fall overboard from the ship or drive off through the jungle and spot a play tower in the distance through the telescope. Again, the positioning of the equipment helps to increase the play value of the playground while supporting both the theme world and the children’s imagination.

Design an inclusive playground

To create an inclusive playground, not all children should necessarily be able to play with all the activities, just as long as every child can play with some activities and engage in cooperative play with other children regardless of any disability. For a playground to be inclusive, it is necessary to focus on access to the play equipment. First, the safety surface should preferably be either poured-in-place rubber or rubber tiles. This means that anyone with impaired mobility and wheelchair users are able to move around. The rubber can also be designed in various colours and used to create zones to help children with cognitive impairments.

Next, there has to be enough space around the various pieces of equipment, and they should ideally be close to the ground for easy access. Many pieces of play equipment allow children to play side by side, regardless of their disability, which is the aim of an inclusive playground.

Read more: Inclusive play equipment

Design the playground with the safety surface in mind

One thing that is often overlooked when planning a playground is the safety surface. But in fact, this can be key to creating a coherent playground. The safety surface, whether it is sand, grass or rubber, can be crucial for creating zones, for coherence and for extra play value.

Often, play equipment for the youngest children or gentle types of play can be installed on grass, while the larger pieces of play equipment for wilder activities require sand, gravel or rubber. This can create natural divisions in the playground, but the divisions can also be done more deliberately. Poured-in-place rubber is a particularly good way of visually demarcating the play equipment or creating play zones. Using patterns and different colours, you can help children to understand how the playground is organised.

Rubber can also be used to incorporate figures, shapes and play elements in the actual surface. This can further support the playground theme, or the surface can incorporate designs for games such as hopscotch, ‘the floor is lava’ etc.

Play systems with play zones

Big play systems are often designed with different play zones. At least, this is the case with our largest models. This means that if the playground consists mainly of a single large play system, then the play zones have already been arranged.

For all our large pirate ships from LEDON Pirates as well as the LEDON Castle, Basic and Explore play systems, we have created separate play environments for big children and small children. For the older children, there are climbing, crawling and sliding activities higher up, while small play panels, grocery counters and huts can be found closer to ground level for the younger ones. In this way, a single piece of play equipment holds considerable play potential for a wide age group, and many children can play at the same time.

Guidance from our dealer

Do you need advice on playground layout, or do you have any questions about our products? Our knowledgeable dealers are always ready to assist.