The small playground - Romm for more than one swing?
Is it possible to design a small playground that provides enough space for plenty of fun play for both little ones and slightly older children? What play equipment should we choose if we don’t have much space? If these questions sound familiar, then we can help.
At Elverdal, we have experience of developing play environments of all sizes. From large park playgrounds, outdoor areas in schools and institutions, to small play areas in urban spaces, residential areas or out in nature.
Our work is about creating the 'good playground' that not only gives children a free outdoor space, but also a learning environment to develop in. A place where children can make their own rules for play and explore the world through their bodies. We believe that a good playground should provide wide-ranging play opportunities that both challenge and grow with the child. A place that families love to come back to, and which provides exciting play activities at different levels.
Get a small area with multiple play options
Does your institution's playground need an update? Does the small city park need a play spot, or are you thinking of creating a playground in the housing association's courtyard? The user group often includes different ages, which means you need play environment that caters for several age groups. When working with a smaller area, we look at choosing a composition of play equipment with high play value. Play values are the way playground equipment can stimulate the child's motor, emotional and social development.
When we look at a playground solution, we take into account the whole space - including the surfaces. Stripes and graphics in the coating expand the play and learning space, and we incorporate a variety of levels such as hills, balance tops, edges or built-in relaxation areas in the surface.
For smaller spaces, it is also worth thinking about creating seated areas, as the children will not be arriving on their own. Parents and adults must be able to sit near the children's play area. You may need to add shelter, shade and shielding with either green planting or a fence.
A fun and cosy playground in the public space will quickly become a popular meeting place for families with children, grandparents or nurseries on a day out. We make it easy for you to design your playground, and our architects, designers and business partners etc. can help you with installation and assembly from start to finish.
We develop your playground with you
You can design a small playground with e.g. one single larger item of play equipment along with a few smaller ones. Larger play equipment suitable for small areas includes obstacle course elements, climbing towers, climbing nets or swings. All of these encourage spontaneous and fast play, like swinging or climbing, and children can play in a group or alone.
In order for the playground to be long-lasting, the challenges must grow with the child. With a swing, for example, a toddler can’t get enough of just being rocked back and forth. Later, the child is able to swing by themselves and, once their balance and sense of rhythm are in place, they will try new things like swinging high among the tree tops or swinging while standing up. Other play equipment that offers plenty of challenges that follow the child’s growth is an obstacle course. On a small obstacle course for 1-6 year olds, the child can practice climbing up and finding their balance on uneven surfaces while in a safe environment. The course is designed so that the smallest children can get support if they need to from the posts while practicing balancing on walkways and stumps. Slightly older children get to test their balance on the obstacle course when they get their speed up. That’s when play quickly turns into a game of chase through the ‘jungle’, jumping on and off, climbing over and under.
For inspiration on how to put together your play equipment for the smaller playground, we have created a line of Elverdal package solutions for both small and larger spaces. Find them under products.
You can also find inspiration in the projects we completed for the Freya School, St. Göransparken and Hammarby Kaj. Find them under Case studies.
1. user group
• wich age groups will use the space?
• specific requirements for play and / or training?
• is there a local historical theme, person or style that you can use as a starting point?
• does the site require planting and / or shielding?
• what seating / zones are required?
• will the site need lighting in the evenings?