A Playground can be so much fun – Literally! Global studies prove that children who have access to playgrounds during their childhood grow up to be more well-rounded individuals in their adult life, having learnt the DO’s and Don’ts of life at an early stage through fun and play. Social skills, confidence, self-esteem, dealing with peer pressure, learning to share and care , a spirit of healthy competitiveness, fine and gross motor skills, humor, dealing with failure etc., can all be learned in the formative years of a child. A Playground does not need expensive equipment or a large space to be successful. What makes it effective is that it becomes a safe place for all, promotes free play requiring minimal adult intervention and leads to creative play. Some useful tips to making the perfect playground are:
Locate the playground in a space that is easily accessible by children but away from vehicular traffic to avoid children running into it. Choose a place that receives good ventilation and sunlight, both which are essential to children.
- Age Group:
If space allows, group play equipment or areas into age appropriate zones to avoid larger kids monopolizing the playground.
- Safe Distance:
Allow safe distance around each play equipment and do not crowd too many pieces of equipment into the area.
Provide for one or two larger multi play equipment for large group play and a couple of smaller equipment for individual play. Allow for equipment that provides a range of activities – swinging, climbing, sliding, crawling, and balancing.
Use play equipment that have bright attractive colors that do not heat up in the sun and have no sharp metal edges.
- Safe Surfaces:
Play equipment need to located in a bed of line washed sand or a rubberized fall arrest safety surface. Safety surfaces can be in bright colors or having graphics on them which appeals to kids – e.g.: A giant snake and ladder board. Sand by itself forms a play medium and a source of endless imaginative play for kids.
The Playgrounds should have high visibility for kid’s safety and supervision. Avoid large shrubs or screening and instead use low ground covers and trees around the playgrounds. Provide seating close by adults to sit, especially in playgrounds catering to smaller kids.