Community playgrounds offer a multitude of benefits aside from giving kids a place to play. They are the heart of a community - the place where friendships are built and memories are made. Outdoor playgrounds also provide endless opportunities for social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.
Every playground should be thoughtfully designed for its community. Below are seven amenities that every community playground can benefit from.
1. Shade structure
Playground shade structures provide protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. They also allow a comfortable spot for people to sit and relax out of the sun. With the versatility of shade canopies, they can be placed over playground equipment, picnic tables or water features.
2. Sensory playground equipment
Sensory play is extremely important for young children because it engages their senses. But, this type of play is enjoyed outdoors, too. Inclusive playground equipment encourages all children to explore their surroundings, improve coordination and increase concentration. Sensory-rich playgrounds include things like tunnels, activity stations and play houses.
3. Park benches and other park furnishings
Commercial park benches give parents and caregivers a place to sit and relax while their children play. By offering comfortable seating, you also encourage people to stay at your park for a longer period of time. Plus, you would be surprised by how many friendships are started on a park bench!
4. Water play
More and more community parks are incorporating water play to keep young kids engaged over the summer. Parents appreciate this, as taking multiple young children to a public swimming pool is not always practical. With water spouts, dumping buckets, water tables, etc., you can transform an ordinary park into a summer hotspot.
5. Picnic tables and trash cans
Many families pack snacks and lunches with them so they can spend the whole day outdoors. Accommodate your visitors by providing them with picnic tables and trash cans. This will encourage people to stay at your park instead of leaving for lunch and also keep your park clean and tidy.
6. Challenge course
Obstacle courses make great additions to community playgrounds. They are especially popular for older kids who may not be interested in the swings and slides. Challenge courses can be as complex as you want them to be, with components for speed and agility, strength and balance.
7. Slides, swings and ziplines
Finally, every playground needs a wide range of activities to keep kids busy, including slides, swings, ziplines, climbers, balance beams, crawl tubes, rope netting and more. Consider your community and the types of features your families will love to see.
Cunningham Recreation is a park, recreation and playground equipment supplier that can help you build the best park for your community. Contact us today to discuss your vision for a custom playground design.