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8 Things to Consider When Designing Your Playground

They don’t make them like they used to… and that’s a good thing. Gone are the days of sharp edges, concrete surfaces and uninspiring options for equipment and accessories. Nowadays grounds and equipment are designed for fun, safety, variety, landscaping and the way they develop a child’s physical and mental faculties.

A lot has changed since we first started in the business. Years ago we simply offered customers playground safety matting. Recognising that this was just one piece of the puzzle, we expanded our range of products and services to provide the ‘full package’.

These days, the Numat range includes playground surfaces and matting, shade options, sandpit covers, landscaping and accessories – as well as installation and maintenance.

While it’s important to create a playground that helps kids learn while staying safe, we think it’s just as important that a playground never forgets to be fun. So it’s worth investing some time in the planning and design stage.

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Here’s what we think are some of the more important considerations during this planning and design phase:

1. Fencing in (and out).

When considering fencing, think about keeping children in, as well as who or what you are keeping out. Wandering animals and privacy should be a key consideration. 

2. Unlimited options.

Don’t over-think the accessories and equipment. Open ended play equipment provides an opportunity for children to use their imagination, and simple objects can be transformed into something wonderful.

3. Age appropriateness.

Think about the age group you are catering to when selecting equipment. It helps keep things exciting – and safe.

4. Surface selection.

There is a wide range of surfaces to suit any application. Choosing the right surface allows you to get more out of your play area for longer. Factors to consider here include maintenance, exposure to sun or water and covering multiple uses. Check out our playground surfacing section for some great safety surfacing options.

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5. Sandpit.

Sandpits are an easy way to provide a limitless amount of fun. Keep them clean and dry when not in use with a durable cover.

6. Shade.

With the hazards of extended sun exposure now increasingly obvious it’s important to consider preventative measures. A well placed sunshade will ensure your play area is usable even when the sun is at its most damaging.

7. Common Sense Safety.

Doing the simple things right, like ensuring fence palings are installed on the inside of the fence as not to create a climbing hazard, will make sure your playground is a safe and happy play place.

8. Flow

Considering how children will move from one area to another is key to ensuring good flow in your playground. For example, kids coming off a slide will naturally continue moving in that direction – making sure they have an area they move to will help keep the landing area clear for the next person.