Today, playgrounds are focusing more and more on safety for kids, and rightfully so. The era of toxic paint, sharp metal edges, and hard-impact surfaces is coming to an end as playground materials and design become better-thought out.
Other important contemporary considerations are popping up, too. If you’re planning to put up a playground that will complement your modern home, there are some great ideas and tips to think about so you can make it an enjoyable and safe one for your kids.
Work with what you have
If you don’t have acres of land for a huge outdoor playground, fret not. Today’s fast-paced, often cramped living understandably puts limitations on play time and space, but it can be done with a bit of elbow grease and lots of imagination. Some examples: put up a mini-climbing wall with finger or hand-holds in your garage, or invest in compact, fold-away structures that can be quickly installed and put away.
Consider features that stimulate both mind and body
Nothing beats the exhilaration of being able to go as high as you can go and go back down to earth on a swing. The modern-day playground in the comfort and safety of your own home can still have this kind of excitement, but with a twist: mental stimulation.
Today’s playground designers want to avoid making kids reliant on handheld gadgets. The goal is to get them to be physically active while offering the appeal of video games. This endeavor has resulted in a mix of traditional playground facilities with interactive Q&A games, problem-solving puzzles, and other playtime hybrids that aim to sharpen minds and strengthen bodies.
Be as close to nature as possible
The magic of outdoor playgrounds is that it allows kids to experience nature first-hand. A small wading pool, a crate filled with sand, some strategically-placed boulders, and a good old-fashioned treehouse with a rope ladder hark back to a time when kids can simply enjoy being outdoors. Even in an urban setting, you can achieve this with just a pocket garden or a small patio.
Utilize recyclable materials
Being environmentally responsible doesn’t necessarily have to mean cutting down on the fun. Investing in a playground that is sustainable is a wise move, especially in this era of climate change. Recycled materials for your home-based playground are all the rage. Think rubber mulch surfaces, equipment made from post-consumer wood, metal, and plastic, and even DIY paper or cardboard sculptures you can use for self-invented games!
Safety above all else
Whatever playground trends there may be for the home, safety should be the first consideration. The term “risk-free play” perhaps has a direct link on the many lawsuits placed on public play spaces and school districts where playground-related accidents happened in the last few decades. Meeting ASTM, CSPC and other safety regulation standards is a must to avoid substandard playground equipment and practices, as well as to protect your little ones from injuries.