I’ve been running across a lot of talk about preschool kids being overlooked when it comes to playgrounds. Families with younger children are looking for a place to take their kids for interaction, exercise, and good old fresh air. Preschools and daycare centers have been looking for creative ways to extend their classrooms outdoors. Toddler playgrounds are a perfect answer to that. Everything is scaled down for them. The play structure is smaller and there are baby swings!
We’ve been working with a few communities to make these dreams come true. One of my favorites is Austin, TX. It is located at Emmaus Catholic Parish in Austin, TX. This early childhood education program community playground is designed for kids ages 2-4. They chose to build a custom design so they could integrate the Noah’s Ark thematic play into the developmental aspects of the playground. They used the community built aspect to help introduce younger families into the parish and childhood center. One parishioner said it was the “community glue” that holds them together. They are now able to use the playground not only as physical development, an extension of their classroom but is a great meeting place to draw together all kinds of families.
Materials: Premium grade “kid friendly” pressure treated lumber with composite (trex) decking, handrails, appliqué, and murals
Cost: $25,000-$30,000 (if they would have built it with structural plastic instead of wood: $30,000-$35,000)
Custom Design Theme: Noah’s Ark
Community Build: 20 volunteers a day / 5 days
Age Appropriate: 2-5 years old
Thematic Play Elements Including:
Stepped pods Balance beams of varying difficulty Mountain climber
Arched bridge Plastic crawl tunnel Ark with curvy steps
Net Wide slide Climbing alphabet blocks
Climbing mural Arched rock climb
In the “Tot Lot” area, last season we worked with quite a few community centers and preschools but also county / city parks to build custom design and community built playgrounds. Bloomsburg, PA is a nice example. They kept a really fun facebook page if you would like to check it out …Bloomsburg Tot playground… http://www.facebook.com/groups/77814792813/