It is no surprise why kids love going to the playground. Being outside, combined with the adventure of all the elements a playground has to offer, it is the perfect place for kids to relax and have fun. But what about the parents? What’s in it for them? Although monkey bars, slides, bridges, and towers can occupy kids for hours, parents look for certain things to make their time at the playground enjoyable as well. Today’s playgrounds have evolved into more elaborate spaces for everyone to enjoy, making parents think about more than just location when choosing what neighborhood park to spend the day.
There are different approaches to playgrounds all over the world, but the main concern, no matter where you are, is always safety. The playground is a place for children to experience free play as well as socialize with other kids in a trusted environment. Parents look for equipment that is clean and sturdy, so they don’t have to worry about injury due to ignored maintenance. Beyond the equipment, proper restrooms, water fountains, and trash cans are also important when rating a playground on safety. Another notable safety measure is having community common areas equipped with first aid kits and resources to help identify medical assistance in the area.
A place to hang out
Traditionally, playgrounds and parks have benches lining the areas of activity, which at first glance, seems enough. However, when spending a whole afternoon there, sometimes with multiple children, parents want to see more than just benches. A variety of comfortable seating with places to set your things, park your stroller, and even have lunch, are a main priority, especially with gathering spots in the shade. Some of the best times to be outside can also be the hottest and providing cool spots allows families to be comfortable, longer. When planning for these community areas, parents also take into consideration what materials are being used. In areas where people may want to spread out along the ground, materials like shredded rubber or artificial turf can allow people to enjoy those spaces year round with little maintenance.
Good layout and sightlines
When trying to keep up with all the action on the playground, it can be frustrating when parents’ sight lines are cut off by poorly placed elements. This is an aspect of a playground planning that is often overlooked, but very important to how parents choose play spaces. For families who are coming to the playground with multiple children, being able to monitor all kids from one vantage point helps keep parents at ease. Thoughtfully placed, age appropriate elements are also key to a good layout. It wouldn’t make sense to place a climbing wall where an older kid could jump from and be okay next to a space designed for toddlers where that drop-off could cause severe injury. Creating specific spaces for smaller and bigger kids alike help keep safety risks at a minimum, and parents are happy knowing all their children have their own area to enjoy.
Playgrounds are such an integral part of our community and lives. Parents and families rely on play spaces to provide safe, comfortable, and adventurous afternoons all year round. However, no matter how fun the playground is, it’s the places that go the extra mile for the parents that families can’t get enough of.
Author Bio: Scott Hornic is CEO of Adventure Solutions, a commercial recreation builder located in Baltimore MD. Scott and his crew plan, engineer, and construct adventure courses for the recreation industry.Source