2023 Playground Equipment Trends

2023 Playground Equipment Trends

Playgrounds are crucial for kids’ social, physical and cognitive development. Evolving trends in recreation have led to new playground equipment ideas to create inclusive and educational playgrounds for kids of all ages and abilities.

Societal changes and the increasing need for outdoor spaces for kids to explore are two of the most significant driving forces behind current playground trends. Each of the five most significant recreational trends continues to impact playground design.

5 Playground Equipment Trends for 2023

Playgrounds are continuously evolving to suit the changing needs of children and society. Here are five playgrounds trends for 2023:

1. Inclusive Playgrounds

Kids can learn many things on a playground, including how to socialize and engage with others. Creating an inclusive playground allows kids of different ages, skill levels, backgrounds and physical capabilities to engage with one another and learn. Inclusive playgrounds offer a number of benefits, like boosting creativity, promoting diversity and helping kids develop social skills.

When designing an inclusive playground, it’s essential to avoid keeping sections separate. For example, rather than grouping structures for kids with physical disabilities in one area, add wheelchair-accessible equipment throughout the playground to make it easier for kids with and without disabilities to play together.

Other ways to make playgrounds inclusive include:

  • Creating sensory-rich play environments.
  • Building accessible routes in, on and around playground equipment.
  • Using unitary surfacing that is shock absorbing.
  • Including sections for different types of play, including solitary and collaborative.

2. Sensory Play

Sensory play is becoming increasingly popular as people recognize the benefits of engaging all of a kid’s senses. Using all the senses helps build nerve connections in kids’ brains that can help them develop several skills. They can understand the world more deeply by using all their senses when exploring. What they see, hear, touch and smell can help them gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Some of the benefits of sensory play include:

  • Helping develop language skills.
  • Aiding in fine and gross motor skill development.
  • Boosting cognitive growth
  • Encouraging social interactions.

There are endless ways to incorporate sensory play into a playground. Consider adding musical play structures, water and sand play, natural landscaping elements and toys and play equipment with different textures. Even adding different shapes, colors and other forms of tactile stimulus can encourage sensory play.

3. Outdoor Learning

Taking learning outdoors is also gaining popularity as the benefits of play-based learning become more apparent. Outdoor play is a fun alternative to traditional teaching methods that can help kids learn about STEM subjects, develop language skills and encourage creativity. Combining learning with playing outdoors makes it more fun for kids, encouraging their interest in various topics and deepening their understanding of complex ideas.

You can add areas focused on learning, including musical features and nature-based zones where kids can explore and experiment.

There are several easy ways to incorporate science and learning into playgrounds. You can use equipment like swings, slides, balance beams and seesaws to teach complex science ideas. You can also add areas focused on learning, including musical features and nature-based zones where kids can explore and experiment on their own or with the guidance of an adult.

4. Covered Playgrounds

Playing outside is fun, educational and essential for kids’ growth. However, it’s important to provide shelter from the sun and heat. Modern playgrounds incorporate more shaded areas for kids to play in or for adults to sit and supervise. You can use natural elements like trees or add fun, brightly colored fabric shade structures and other coverings to add to a playground’s appeal.

Some of the benefits of adding shade and coverings include:

  • Protecting kids and play structures.
  • Keeping playgrounds cool.
  • Extending playtime.

5. Climbing Equipment

Climbing walls and structures have become a surprising staple of modern playgrounds, including:

  • Climbing walls.
  • Monkey bars.
  • Nets and ladders that kids have to navigate up, over or through.

Climbing structures help kids develop their physical and mental skills as they figure out how to reach the top or the other side of the system. They’re also an easy way to add more challenging sections for older kids and those with more advanced physical skills.

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Creating a modern playground requires understanding changing trends in recreation. Incorporate new playground equipment ideas to create a playground that helps kids have fun and learn in an exciting and accessible way.

Playworld has decades of experience designing and creating innovative playgrounds for kids across the country. We value inclusive, quality playgrounds that are built for the future. Explore our comprehensive range of playground equipment or request a quote today!

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