“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” ~ Diane Ackerman
“Whoever wants to understand much must play much.” ~ Gottfried Benn
Typically, when we think of playgrounds, we think parks, schools, daycare centers and the like. But great playgrounds can be found indoors, as well, and – like those outside – indoor playground equipment can be designed for accessibility, safety and great fun.
If you remember being a child you will agree that there was almost nothing that could match the joy and gratification of play. And a key aspect of play is novelty, which means the need for ongoing elements of variety and newness to play. Many outdoor playground equipment designs strive to provide new and innovative elements to children’s play experience and some of the more recent trends have included technology and musical elements. There are a few different considerations with indoor playground design and installation, but indoor playground equipment can be just as engaging and fun as that found at an outdoor facility.
Here are some top indoor playground equipment choices to consider.
Stay In and Play
Probably not surprising is that some things never go “out of style” when it comes to kid’s play. And this holds true for indoor playground equipment, as well.
- Foam Ball Shooters
Many foam ball cannon systems include lights, sounds, and even motion to create interactive fun for all ages. Children have the opportunity to engage in a safe and challenging activity that encourages cooperation and friendly competition.
[Image courtesy eliplay.com]
- Jumping Pillows
These often room-sized jumping platforms, also known as indoor jumping pillows, are similar to the popular outdoor versions. Jumping pillows are a major attraction for kids and parents can be assured of their safety aspects.
[image courtesy jumpingpillow.co.uk]
- Hand Cars
These updated offspring of a venerable arcade favorite offer physically interactive fun that is also healthy and safe. Intended for larger indoor playground areas, these hand powered kiddie cars ride along a track and provide a unique theme park element to a playground.
[Image courtesy kid-steam.com]
- Super Slides
Sliding for fun has an exotic heritage. It is known that ancient inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands practiced heʻehōlua, which was essentially sliding down a solidified lava slope covered with ash and grass. Today’s indoor slide designs lean toward the exotic, as well, with tubes, spirals, and portholes.
- Soft Play Components
These giant blocks, steps, cylinders, cones and arches are made of specialty foam interiors covered with a durable vinyl material that can be climbed, jumped, and played on safely. No hard surfaces, no sharp edges, and no loose or moving parts.
[Image courtesy explorecampbeltown.com]
Another new trend that indoor playground equipment and equipment design has with their outdoor counterparts is inclusivity.
The latest indoor playground equipment and layout concepts are designed to provide ample opportunities for children with disabilities to play and engage. Modern indoor playground equipment is designed to challenge and engage all visitors equally, which eliminates the older approach of providing separate sections for “special needs” or “handicapped” children and adults.
As we’ve talked about here before, accessible and inclusive are not quite the same thing.
“Generally speaking, an accessible playground is one where all kids can get to the play area and easily navigate through the playground. Primarily, accessibility focuses on travel, movement, and entry. That means an accessible playground is easy for a person who uses a mobility device, such as a wheelchair, to maneuver in and around.
An inclusive playground, on the other hand, takes accessibility to a broader level. The aim with an inclusive design is to make it not only accessible, but to encourage and enable children to engage with one another. This type of playground concept is often approached using what is known as ‘Universal Design.’”
The Very Best In Indoor Playground Equipment
Along with ensuring accessibility (and lots of fun!) for all children, it’s also important to consider safety when planning, designing and buying indoor playground equipment.
Safety is a primary consideration at Playgrounds Etc., we always strive to go above and beyond to ensure that our playgrounds meet, or exceed, all consumer safety guidelines.
We would be happy to visit your site and give suggestions on ways to create a safer play environment. Playgrounds Etc. is proudly in compliance with Consumer Product Safety Guidelines, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.