Supporting child development with innovative play spaces - Education Matters Magazine
Curriculum, Outdoor Education, Physical Education, Sustainability

Supporting child development with innovative play spaces

Willplay is one of Australia’s leading playground manufacturers, providing excellent play value for every school project. Designed and manufactured in Australia, for Australian conditions, the company selects playground materials for resilience, durability and long-life.

Although the importance of play for a child’s development is generally well-established, the role a school can play in supporting this aspect of childhood development is sometimes overlooked, according to National Sales Manager for WillPlay, Nathan Lee.

“The last few years have shown us the importance of physical and mental wellbeing for children, and the clear links between the lack of play and social interaction with negative effects on their wellbeing,” says Mr Lee.

A report by the Gonski Institution for Education from the University of New South Wales titled ‘Why is play important?’ states: “It is vitally important that your child has access to play at school. And not only in early years but throughout the entire school. In a recent poll, 85 percent of Australians agreed that children today spend less time playing, compared to when they were growing up. While, a further 93 percent agree that play helps children to build the skills they need for the future.”

“WillPlay works with schools to custom design a play solution based on user age, user needs, budget, existing shade and natural elements. An investment in play can be a challenging time for schools as there are many alternatives, and not every piece of equipment is right for every school,” says Mr Lee.

“Additionally, WillPlay’s designers will determine the best use of space and the most suitable equipment for a school’s project.”


When working toward solutions for schools that cater to special needs, there needs to be a balance between accessibility and inclusion, according to Mr Lee.

“Getting this balance right will make your play area inviting for all students and all abilities. Social inclusion is just as important as physical inclusion and designs can be customised to ensure that all children can play together in a fun and safe environment,” he says.

“At WillPlay, we understand the importance of play for physical and mental well-being, especially when children have so many digital, non-physical play options. Improved educational and behavioural outcomes can be attributed to play in a school setting, and it enforces how important play and fitness equipment can be in a school environment.”

Students at Burnett Heads State School enjoy the school’s new custom playground by Willplay.


With more than 10 years of designing and manufacturing play and fitness equipment in Australia, WillPlay offers full design and construct services to bring any project to life, regardless of size or budget.

“In designing our Australian made range of play and fitness equipment, we chose to use Australian recycled plastics, aluminium, stainless steel and ensure that all elements are manufactured in our own factory to ensure quality control is second to none,” explains Mr Lee.

“Not only does this enable the best value and product life for schools, it also allows a degree of customisation and theming that is difficult to match. WillPlay’s design and project management team have extensive experience in turning a school’s concept into a reality that keeps students engaged and challenged, all within the confines of Australian standard designs.”


When buying a play system from WillPlay, a school does not have to simply purchase from a catalogue range of standard products. With their in-house design and manufacturing, customisation of design elements, colours and themes mean school’s will get the perfect system for their students and budget.

“With representatives and distributors all over Australia, WillPlay can turn your next project into something that other schools will be envious of,” says Mr Lee.

“There are very few equipment manufacturers that can offer the level of design customisation as WillPlay. Offering a full design and construct service WillPlay can offer complete turn-key packages including equipment, softfall and shade structures.”


Australian manufacturing supports Australian families just like the ones in each school. WillPlay’s strong local supply chain means that every system has a high content of Australian sourced materials – keeping investment in Australia, while further supporting Australian businesses and Australian families.

When looking for something a little different, schools can consider combining play and fitness with WillPlay’s Urban Warrior range. These systems can also be incorporated into the school’s physical education program, and be used to benchmark children’s fitness and functionality over time.

WillPlay’s latest generation of products, the Boxie and Giant Tunnel ranges, take school play to a new level. When schools need to cater to a wide range of user abilities, the Sensory and All Abilities ranges will keep kids engaged and playing together.

WillPlay’s playground designs will change the way that students and schools look at play.

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