Kids of all ages love to play, and it’s even more fun when they can play together. Parents of siblings with age gaps know it’s not always easy to find activities all the kids can enjoy. Playgrounds and parks that offer age-inclusive options can be the solution these families need.
What are Age-Inclusive Playgrounds?
As kids grow and develop, they play in different ways and have different abilities and limitations. For this reason, playground equipment is often designed with a specific age group in mind so it can keep kids interested and maximize safety.
For toddlers up to age 5, playground equipment is designed with a greater degree of safety and some of the following elements:
- Lower decks and platforms
- Slides that have a lower height
- Smaller steps
- Sand or water features
- Built-in musical features
- Other elements that are scaled down for smaller kids
Playground equipment designed for kids age 5 and up may have more complex and scaled features, like the following:
- Decks, platforms and slides with taller heights
- Ropes and climbing features
- Sporting equipment like basketball hoops and fields for team sports
- Places to play pretend, like play storefronts and other imaginative elements
Age-inclusive playgrounds have equipment and features for all age groups of kids. These structures are designed to appeal to all abilities and development levels and may feature platforms and decks that are higher up in addition to a variety of climbing options and multiple slides at various heights.
Benefits of Playgrounds for All Ages
When playgrounds cater to kids of all ages, they’re more appealing and welcoming to everyone. There are several benefits of having an age-inclusive playground:
- More families can use the playground: Age-inclusive playgrounds appeal to a larger number of families, and these families can continue to come back as their kids grow.
- Families with siblings of different ages feel more welcome: In any family with multiple siblings in different age groups it can be difficult to please everyone and find activities where all the kids feel included and entertained. When a playground has equipment and features that appeal to all ages, each of the kids in the family can find something to do.
- It’s more convenient for families: If families find themselves needing to visit multiple sites to please all the siblings in the household, an age-inclusive playground can be a one-stop shop the whole family enjoys.
- It promotes sibling bonding: At a park that’s appropriate for all ages, kids are more likely to play together. As siblings play together, they have more time to bond.
- It promotes community building: When more families feel welcome and use a playground, it can encourage more community bonding.
How to Create an Age-Appropriate Playground
There are many ways to create an age-appropriate playground, but three basic categories include:
- Separate play structures: One common way to remain inclusive is to create nearby, but separate, play areas for younger kids (under 5) and older kids (5 and up). This setup has the benefit of play areas that are safe and age appropriate for each age group while being close enough for parents and caregivers to watch over multiple kids at the same time.
- Combined play structure: Another solution is to have one playground structure that caters to children ages 2-12. These structures generally have lower decks and platforms and multiple options for slides, climbing elements and more. This playground allows you to select one larger configuration of equipment elements rather than two smaller configurations.
- Ground-based activities combined with structures: If you choose to have separate play structures or a combined structure, adding ground-based activities ensures your park appeals to multiple age groups. Swings and spinners are great examples of ground-based activities that can be added to any park or playground. These features appeal to all age groups, spark the imagination and are great for playing together no matter the age groups.
Miracle® Recreation is proud to offer playground equipment that appeals to kids of all ages. We have thrilling options to create the ultimate playground while remaining adaptable for any budget. Contact Miracle® today for more information.