Before you actually choose an actual layout for a playground, it’s important to have an actual design and/or plan put into place to decide how all of the equipment should be placed. The entire space should be organized in a way that will help to promote physical play while, at the same time, reducing the amount of conflicts that take place. One good thing to consider is instead of having one larger structure that provides a lot of different experiences for children to interact with, consider having separate smaller areas and pieces of equipment arranged in an appropriate manner. This way, you will allow for more active playing areas to be separated from areas that are a great deal more noisy and much less interactive than you may prefer.

Here are a few different sections for you to consider when designing your playground:

Transition Section

This is the area that exists between either your building and the playground itself, or between different play areas. This is a section that will allow children to have both space and time to determine where they’d like to go as they make their way into the playground. Consider placing some sort of seating in this section if you wish, or leave it open.

climb-19931_1280Creative/Manipulative Section

This section should focus more on motor skills that are both large and small in size. For instance, consider including an easel with paints, a table, or a panel that contains things that children can easily manipulate.

Fantasy/Projective Section

This section should be filled with all sorts of things to help fuel the imaginations of children who enter it. These can include the following:

  • Stacks of blocks
  • Crates of plastic animals
  • Buckets of toy bulldozers

If there is any sand and/or water nearby, consider placing this particular section in that area.

Focal/Social Section

This is an area that allows for a sense of community, despite the fact that it is seen as being more action-oriented in nature. In this section, children can sit and talk with each other, look at things, and share things that they’ve learned about. Consider placing benches, picnic tables, etc. in this area.

network-539757_1280Dramatic/Social Section

This is an area in which children will be able to try out new roles, such as in a playhouse with sensory panels that can be included. Additionally, you can also consider including items such as a play fort, play car, and a track complete with signs to help stimulate all sorts of social play. Furthermore, think about adding different props to this area as well, such as costumes.

Physical Section

This is an area that includes activities that absolutely can’t be done indoors, such as climbing, running, jumping, etc. This type of area will enable children to build up their muscles and improve their balance and coordination. Open areas should be planned for this section to allow for these kinds of activities, and any equipment should be age-appropriate and scaled to the developmental abilities of the children who will be using them in order to prevent injuries.

Natural Element Section

There are many aspects that are part of a child’s exploration of the outdoors, such as grass, flowers, trees, sand, and more. Think of the entire outdoor space as a natural element section for your child, as it will contain a vast variety of these things. If you need help deciding on playground equipment, talk to playground equipment Vancouver BC experts at Suttle Recreation.