The sound of children running and playing is music to many, especially when living in a young and active community. Neighborhood playgrounds provide a safe place where kids can exercise and burn off energy, while parents and guardians can relax. Adding a simple HOA playground contributes to an association’s property values and sense of community.
If you’re in charge of creating an HOA playground design, here are five essential pieces of equipment that we recommend having, as they will provide families with a fun and exciting experience every time they visit!
1. Playground Structure
Playground structures are the focal point of HOA playgrounds. They typically feature climbing steps, slides and tunnels at the heart of the playground. You can also add specialized additions to the structure depending on your space and budget. Having a variety of play component types and progressive challenges allow children to grow and develop while building confidence and staying active. Activity panels, gizmos and spinners are great sensory play items, and things like telescopes, store panels and seats create an opportunity for dramatic play.
A playground isn’t the same without swings! Everyone loves to swing at the playground. This piece of classic playground equipment attracts people young and old, plus helps in strengthening balance, coordination and core strength. There are quite a vide variety of swings to choose from now days. You can choose from the classic belt or bucket swing seats to a “mommy and me” type of swing called the GT Expression Swing where mother and child, or grandparent and child can swing face-to-face. The Expression Swings also has options like tandem seats so an adult and an older child can swing together. Tire swings, saucer swings and there are even options for adaptive swings seats. The possibilities are endless!
Another essential piece of equipment to have on an HOA playground is a climber. A climber is a type of freestanding playground equipment that features durable materials, like metal, rotomolded plastic, nets and thoughtful in design. Examples include rock climbers, nets and ladders that encourage kids to exercise their arms, legs and back muscles. Freestanding climbers allow children to be creative in their play, creating competitive obstacles or dramatic play adventures using their imaginations.
You might think that slides are just fun when you slide down them, but there is much more to this piece of equipment! Slides encourage kids to climb, build coordination and strengthen balance. Plus, once a child reaches the top, faces their fears and slides down the slide, they develop self-confidence as well. Freestanding slides come in a variety of styles and heights.
5. Activity Panels
We also recommend adding some activity panels to your HOA playground. These panels offer fun games, puzzles and learning facts. They are a great addition to playgrounds because they allow children to take a break from physical play and work on their cognitive development. Activity panels with gizmos and spinners as well as musical panels are great sensory play additions. Music is a universal language that enhances mood and allows for self-expression. The best thing about activity panels, sensory gizmos and music panels, is they can be added to the playground structure itself or you can have them freestanding along the perimeter or scattered throughout the play space.
When building an HOA playground, these five pieces of equipment should not be overlooked. People in the community will quickly scan the playground and realize that it has everything it needs to be safe, welcoming and engaging for all kids.