A children’s play area is an equipped area dedicated to leisure and motor education for children and adolescents.
A play area can be placed in a public park, in a schoolyard, in a shopping center and in all those places where children can entertain (hotels, restaurants, bathing establishments, oratories, tourist villages, sports centers).
n addition to flooring for playgrounds, as we shall see, must have anti-shock features, a fundamental function is also represented by the play equipment used in the play areas are fixed structures designed to attract children and at the same time allow you to develop motor activities and learning .
Swings, slides, spring toys, castles, climbing, balance boards, rotating jousts are some of the equipment that we will describe later in the article.
Choice of the site
The choice of the site requires particular attention because it is preferable that the play area is placed in a place free of dangers, disturbances and sources of pollution.
It is also necessary that the area is sheltered from the wind and can enjoy at least a partial shade, so as to remain usable even in the summer months.
The ground must also be free of rainwater stagnation points, so as to guarantee safe and clean use.
Choice of play equipment
The first concern in choosing games is security. It is necessary to guarantee the necessary areas of respect for swings, slides and climbs, so as to minimize the possibility of unwanted accidents.
For statistics on the safety of the play areas you can click here.
The play equipment can be classified as follows.
- Multi-purpose games: they are modular combinations of different platforms, accesses and playful elements such as walkways, slides, nets, climbing walls and climbing pipes. They are a place of exchange and interaction between children.
- Classic games: swings, houses and slides are elements that are never lacking in the game areas for the little ones.
- Dynamic games: dispense emotions in association with movements of oscillation, translation or management of balance, vacuum or speed.
- Theme games: they are games that reproduce fabulous settings, designed for children aged 2 to 8, who turn every playground into an open-air theater.
- Educational games: they increase children’s cognitive and sensorial skills and can include a variety of interactive panels, sandboxes and ground games, as well as musical games that enhance auditory qualities.
- Balancing and climbing games: they include various elements that test agility, balance and the ability to concentrate and coordinate movements.
- Multi-purpose structures: games can be grouped into combined structures to create an articulate and inclusive space.
Inclusive play parks
The inclusive playgrounds are those that allow access to all children, including those with disabilities.
In an inclusive playground, every child, according to his abilities, can use some games and not others.
The design of an Playground floors: EN1176 and EN1177 standards
Game manufacturers must design and build their equipment in compliance with the requirements of the EN1176 standard.
In particular, flooring for play areas must comply with the European standard EN1177, which establishes the requirements to choose the most suitable flooring, taking as reference the height of fall resulting from the characteristics of the play equipment certified by the manufacturers.
The choice of playground flooring is therefore a key point in the design and construction of this type of area. A soft floor for children or more generally an anti-trauma and anti-fall flooring is often a very important element in the safety of a playground. In addition to this it helps to delimit the space and embellish the walkable surface with colors and designs.
Safety and maintenance of playgrounds
Playground managers and parents of children also play a major role in ensuring the safety of play areas.
The first must ensure adequate maintenance, ensuring that the area and equipment are always accessible and in perfect condition. Maintenance generally includes:
- replacement or repair of damaged or worn items
- painting resumption
- arrangement of substrates and drainage systems
- verification and renewal of the anti-trauma flooring
- addition of new equipment.
Parents must ensure appropriate supervision to ensure respectful and responsible use of the equipment.inclusive playground must include as many games as possible, corresponding to different capacities.