The world of play and recreation is constantly evolving and so are the product offerings. As 2022 begins, there are several trends in play that are worth exploring. If you are starting a new project, consider adding some or all these elements into your design.
1. Inclusion: Inclusive play continues to be of upmost importance. The desire is for kids to be able to engage in activities that can accommodate their specific abilities. Most recently, there is a trend towards playground equipment that allows kids of all abilities to move as independently as possible, whenever possible. Innovative designs are looking at everything from materials used to handrail positioning to allow for this possibility.
2. Incorporating electronic play: It may seem counterintuitive to bring an electronic element to the playground, but done in the right way, electronics can enhance movement and engagement. There are products that help bring imagination and pretend play to the physical space while others challenge speed and reaction time. Best of all, they extend play value and provide a way for kids to engage with each other.
3. Appropriate risk-taking events: Kids need to be challenged, and it is important to keep them safe. The latest playgrounds take both into consideration with a variety of climbing events that are more open and unstructured than ever before. Rope climbers, for example, motivate kids to interact with the equipment differently each time. They allow the child freedom to choose their path and a risk-taking level that feels comfortable to them.
4. Play that includes the entire family: The more opportunities families have to play together, the greater the connection. That is why there are more play events outside the borders of the playground itself. Things like playground games, fitness challenges and even equipment for dogs. A little healthy competition amongst family members is good for the heart and bragging rights.
5. Detail and color: Playgrounds today are exploding with color and detail. What was once just a rail, is now an opportunity for play. Small details can be added to every protective barrier to engage a child’s intellect and senses. Pops of color enhance play spaces and draw kids to different events. Color brings a lightness and joy to the playground; it tells kids that this is the place for fun.
6. Outdoor classrooms and gathering spaces: The opportunity to take the learning outdoors is good for just about everybody. Having a designated space is helpful. There are so many opportunities to customize a space including seating, tables, shade, nature themes or even musical instruments.
We have products that bring these latest trends to your playground. Let us know when you are ready to start your next design!