Clients in and around Aylesbury who are a little bit daunted by the prospect of a new playground design project often contact us. Sometimes it’s their first time acting as a stakeholder in this kind of development, and they want advice on everything from the most appropriate types of school playground equipment (e.g climbing frames), to how natural playgrounds differ from synthetic ones. We’re always happy to help, answering these kinds of questions and providing expert guidance at every juncture, from conception through to completion.
But there’s a lot we can’t decide for you, and on this page we’ve run through a few things to consider before we get the project up and running. We hope it will give you some food for thought and dispel some of the mystery around playground design. Should you have any questions for us or want to discuss your ideas, don’t hesitate to call 07904 901 770.
Budget – In an ideal world, Aylesbury schools and public bodies would have an unlimited budget for the most fantastic and impressive of natural playgrounds ever seen… But unfortunately, this is very rarely the case! Determining a budget is an essential part of the playground design process, and will ensure you know what kinds and how much school playground equipment you can afford. Once you have a budget you’ll be better informed when it comes to making design decisions.
Target Age Group – We’ve worked with all sorts of clients around Aylesbury. Some are investing in natural playgrounds for children from a very young age, all the way through to the upper teens. These projects are more challenging, as the aim becomes to accommodate different physiques, abilities etc. with school playground equipment, without putting children’s safety at risk. Climbing frames for older teens are obviously bigger than those meant for very young children.
Don’t worry, however. It’s certainly achievable. It could be done by segmenting natural playgrounds into different areas, some for older children and others for younger ones. In the majority of cases though, you’ll have a slightly narrower demographic to target, and research into what kind of school playground equipment this age group values the most is a very worthwhile use of time.
Equipment Usage – It’s really important to come to a good balance of active school playground equipment, like climbing frames and swings, and creative installations / social spaces. Play isn’t just about stretching legs and developing our bodies, it’s about developing imagination, social skills and our intellect. In many Aylesbury playground design projects, we’ve incorporated things like stages (for acting and storytelling), meeting areas (where long-lasting relationships are formed) and tactile play areas (for building sandcastles or drawing larger than life characters).
Space – Just as with budget, most Aylesbury schools and parks have a limited amount of space to work with. This means it’s essential not to overcrowd it with too much school playground equipment. There needs to be enough space for children to run around, or sit down and rest, for example. Consider how the space can be optimised and not made to feel cramped.
Aesthetic – But we’d be kidding ourselves if we saw playground design as a purely practical project. There’s also the aesthetic side of things. No school or local authority wants an ugly space that puts off parents, teachers and pupils alike. That’s why we place a big emphasis on ensuring the natural playgrounds we build around Aylesbury look fantastic, and actually add real value to your school and its reputation. From choosing attractive, natural materials which blend in with their wider environment, to selecting tasteful school playground equipment and not garish synthetic climbing frames that constitute an eyesore. We’ll ensure that the finished product looks fantastic.