Themed Playground Design Considerations

Themed Playground Design Considerations

There are many instances where a playground that embraces a theme is desirable. Themes can vary from items of historical or cultural significance to ones that are for just plain fun.

Theming a playground generally takes one of two forms;

The first, sees the playground taking on the form of the chosen theme. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is a playground in the form of a boat or ship.

The second and most common way of embracing a theme within a playground is to include items within the play space that convey aspects of the theme. These could be anything from incidental objects and custom-made objects and spaces, to signs and information boards, etc.

Both ways are valid but in some instances, the challenge and the cost of designing and constructing a playground that takes on the form of a complex theme can be prohibitive. Additionally, the costs associated with building a playground in a complex form can consume a disproportionate amount of the project budget leaving little to include enough valid play experiences.

The design team at Safe Play Systems have a wealth of experience when it comes to creating themed playgrounds and can offer sound advice as to the best and most cost-effective ways of incorporating themes. Our designers have created themes from boats to farms to railway stations to ones where we acknowledge traditional owners or the pioneering past.

With all of our theme playground designs the one thing we never lose sight of is the simple fact that we are creating a place primarily for children to play – it’s what we do.


When undertaking a Themed Playground design project, our designers will consider:

• The theme and how best to convey/embrace it – i.e. create a playground that takes on the form of the theme or one that “tells a story”
• Available area and natural features and how these will effect or influence the theme
• Budget – with consideration to the balance between theme and play opportunity as well as associated works
• The specific needs of known and or anticipated user groups
• Access requirements – to and from the playground as well as within the space
• Age groups of intended users and carers
• Safety Under-surfacing requirements
• Australian Standards
• Shade
• Public amenities
• Maintenance

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