How to design play areas for young children

ledon-spring-rocker-bike-with-sidecar-spa11There are a lot of considerations to factor in when designing playgrounds, especially when designing them for young children. The KS0 and KS1 age groups have their own unique needs when considering the type of equipment to install, safety precautions to take, security measures to put in place and choosing equipment that will appeal to these age groups.

When designing play areas for young children these tips will help:

Equipment suitable for young children
Not all playground equipment available is suitable to young children. Equipment that has a high fall height, for example, could lead to young children seriously injuring themselves. As well as this, some equipment is too advanced and young children would struggle to use it correctly. Playground equipment that is better suited to young children include ones that have a low fall height, are simple to use and don’t require advanced athletic abilities.

Safety measures for young children
Safety is an important consideration when designing play areas for young children. Very young children are often still unsteady on their feet, so they need playground equipment that is low to the ground so they don’t fall off and injure themselves. As well as this, choosing the right safety surfacing for equipment is essential for ensuring young children remain safe while playing. Having safety surfacing under equipment, such as swings, slides and roundabouts, will provide a safety precaution to prevent children from hurting themselves.

Keeping your play area secure
Having the right security measures installed is vital when keeping young children secure in the play area. It is important for children to play feeling unrestricted, however young children in particular need extra security measures. Choosing fencing that keeps unwanted people out of the play area, but which also blends in with the equipment and furniture installed, is a great security measure that doesn’t look imposing. As well as this, quality fencing will help to ensure young children stay within the play area boundaries without wondering off on their own.

As well as installing fencing, keeping the play area open without too much equipment will help adults to keep an eye on children without needing to stand over them the entire time they are playing. This means that when designing the layout of the play area, security should be kept in mind.

Choosing equipment that appeals to young children
Outdoor play has many benefits for young children and helps with their development, this is why it is essential to choose equipment that appeals to young children and which will encourage them to play outside. Young children normally prefer playground equipment that challenges them, but which isn’t too advance for their skills. As well as this, young children are starting to find their independence so they prefer playground equipment that allows them to have fun and feel a little risk but which still offers safety and security so that they continue to feel protected.

Our next blog post will look at the considerations you need to take into account when designing play areas for older children.