19 October 2011

The importance of playground designs in creating successful play spaces…

The success of play areas that attract hundreds of children can often be closely linked to effective playground designs. While it may seem unlikely that there is such a thought process behind the layout of playground equipment, this is far from the truth.

Many play objectives can be met through effective playground design such as providing areas for different age groups, accommodating risk and challenge and encouraging social development among children.

The introduction of the Playbuilder scheme in 2008 generated much interest in playground designs; with Play England publishing 10 principles for designing successful play spaces’. This guidance provided the basis for many of the new play areas created by the government initiative and suggested that successful play spaces:

§  Are ‘bespoke’ and/or designed to enhance their setting
§  Are well located
§  Make use of natural elements
§  Provide a wide range of play experiences
§  Are accessible to both disabled and non-disabled children
§  Meet community needs and are loved by the community
§  Allow children of different ages to play together
§  Build in opportunities to experience risk and challenge
§  Are sustainable and appropriately maintained for play value
§  Allow for change and evolution

These principles have certainly had an impact on playground designs, but also closely replicate what many good playground designers already factored into their designs. 

3D playground designs help to visualise how your playground might look
Every playground is different, serving different audiences, age groups and visitor numbers – some communities may have an idea of how they want their playground to look, while others may be open to guidance and inspiration from specialised playground designers.

What’s important is that the design of your playground is carefully considered; it’s a good idea to hold a public consultation and get the local children and their parents involved to see what they want from the play area – at Playdale, we produce 3D playground designs that can help people visualise how their playground could look. This can prove an effective tool in generating interest for your playground project and to give credibility to any funding applications you may be preparing.

To find out how we can help you devise the perfect playground design for your play project, get in touch or visit our website.  

5 October 2011

National Fitness Day celebrates free fitness facilities!

How did you spend the ‘empower half hour’?! Playing sport in a multi use games area? Working out with Training Buddies? Completing a trim trail?
Training Buddies

Last Friday, 30th September, saw the launch of the UK’s first ever National Fitness Day, guaranteed to get everyone thinking about what they can do to improve their health and wellbeing. From 12pm midday, everyone was encouraged to take part in the ‘empower half hour’ – 30 minutes of physical activity of their choice, sure to lift their mood.

With recent research revealing that just 15 minutes of exercise a day can improve life expectancy the empower half hour is an easy, convenient way to vastly improve your lifestyle.

Whether you want to tone up, try new sports or improve your fitness levels, the chances are there’ll be loads of free facilities available right on your doorstep. With the increasing popularity of outdoor fitness equipment, many communities have multi use games areas, trim trails and other training equipment installed for use by local residents. These can be used in countless different ways to fit in with an exercise routine tailored to your needs.

Multi use games areas provide fun for the whole community

Multi use games areas are great for helping the whole family get into shape, many offer purpose-built goals, markings and baskets to facilitate a range of sports matches, while their specialised surfacing provides a favourable alternative to muddy fields or hard ground.

Trim trails and equipment such as Training Buddies encourage more active users to challenge themselves with a balance of cardio and strength-building exercises – they can be used alone, or as a great basis for a group circuit training session.

For more ideas about multi use games areas and outdoor training equipment, read about the Playdale Wellness Park