Playground design – How to get it right - Education Matters Magazine
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Playground design – How to get it right

WillPlay’s General Manager Nathan Lee shares tips for choosing the right school playground for a variety of learning environments.

With the challenge of our changing lifestyles and the need to activate students into movement and non-digital play, the humble school playground has taken on new importance in the lives of students. Getting it right can make a amazing difference to student mobility and physical wellbeing. Getting it wrong risks losing an amazing opportunity to make a difference.

Playground design can be a fun process for all involved, however it can be a bit daunting for the uninitiated. WillPlay is an Australian manufacturer of play and fitness equipment. With extensive experience in designing play areas for schools, my team and I can help you through the complete design and construction process.

Know your user

The play and physical needs of preppies is different to students in upper primary. Determine the age range and physical needs of your intended users and choose the equipment that best suits. If the play area is to suit a wide range of ages, talk with your designer to ensure all physical levels are catered for. WillPlay also manufacture a range of equipment to cater to the needs of students of varying abilities.

Define your outcomes

Is this to be a imaginative play area or do you want more physically challenging equipment? Do you want both? By combining systems from a variety of WillPlay’s ranges, you can design a play area that achieves both.

Material selection

WillPlay lead the industry in the use of premium materials such as stainless steel, aluminium and recycled plastics and composites. Do you want the natural look of timber but not the maintenance hassles? Consider the TreeHouse range from WillPlay featuring their timber look aluminium posts.

What is the best softfall?

Whether to choose an organic product like sand or Takura Engineered Softfall or to use rubber or synthetic grass will often be determined by budget. The different materials all have their own benefits and disadvantages so talk with your designer to determine the best material for your area. Combining materials will often give a visually appealing result and offer different experiences in the area.

Do you want shade with that?

As play time is usually in the hottest parts of the day, shade can be an important yet often ignored aspect in the design. Whether you choose a shade structure or work with the existing natural shade from trees and buildings, getting this right will encourage greater use of the area.

Spare parts and after-market support

Talk with your prospective equipment suppliers and ask about the availability of spare parts and the manufacturer’s warranty and support. As a local manufacturer of play equipment, WillPlay stock a wide range of spare parts and accessories and their rapid shipping time ensures you’re play area is up and running and downtime is kept to a minimum.

Buyer’s Guide
WillPlay
Ph: 1300 132 047