Creating a playground in a limited space can be a challenging task, as you only have so much ground to work with. However, with careful planning and creative solutions, it’s possible to design a functional and engaging play area.
While urban areas typically have the most trouble finding green open spaces, this can happen in other areas as well. Here are three ideas for building a fun, engaging playground with limited space.
1. Choose Multi-functional Equipment
Focus on playground equipment that serves multiple purposes to make the most of the limited space. Look for combination structures that offer various activities, such as a compact play tower with slides, climbing walls and interactive panels. This allows children to engage in different play experiences without requiring separate equipment.
Modular systems are an easy way to get different equipment in one purchase. These systems typically consist of interchangeable components that can be rearranged to accommodate different spaces and layouts. You can adjust the size and shape of the play area, while also adding or taking away certain equipment.
2. Pick Vertical Structures
Utilize vertical space by incorporating climbing walls, rope structures or vertical play panels. These structures provide challenging and engaging activities while taking up less horizontal space. They also encourage children to develop their climbing skills and participate in risky play.
A popular option for small spaces are preconfigured playground towers such as the Lappset Halo Cubic Diamond. These towers provide a beautiful view of the grounds below, and kids always feel accomplished when they make it to the top! In addition to the view, playground towers can also feature spiral slides, flexible climbing platforms and crawl tunnels.
Aside from tall structures, you can also make use of vertical space by choosing wall-mounted or overhead play elements, such as play panels, interactive games and overhead climbers or monkey bars. These features utilize the space above and can be attached to existing structures, saving valuable ground space.
3. Create Zones
Another suggestion for small spaces is the creation of zones. Divide the limited space you have into different play zones or micro-sites, each with a specific theme or focus. This will help you see the space differently, while also choosing equipment that will accommodate all ages.
For instance, if you have an area with trees, consider using this space to create playful trails and fitness stations. While this will be separate from the actual playground, it makes use of the available space nearby the park. Other features to consider are small gardens, natural materials like logs and boulders, playhouses or sand and water play.
Maximizing Play in Small Spaces
When you have limited space to work with, it can help to collaborate with others in the community, such as schools, community centers and parks. It’s possible that you’ll have better luck pooling your resources together and expanding on these areas.
However you choose to approach a new or improved playground, keep in mind that there are many options for creating a safe, accessible and engaging playground that your community will love! Contact Cunningham Recreation to explore the playground design options for smaller spaces.