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Design with Pizzazz

Fri, 12/01/2006 - 2:00am
Last updated
1 year ago
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Choose a theme for Play

Creating original theme ideas for your community park is a good way to offer play equipment and play areas that invigorate and excite your community. Whether you are designing a traditional park setting, a play structure, spray park, or water park, putting some local flavor into the mix will bring a local sense of ownership to your project.

The simplest way to promote local features, climate, uniqueness, or other special attractions is through signage. Signs can be as simple as the words of a park or town, but real uniqueness comes in developing a sign that says it all. Maybe a coastal town has a sign shaped like a wave, or towns in the Rockies could have a sign design around mountain peaks.  

For those who wish to really get theme serious, you can design your play areas around a local theme. Again, the simplest way to provide a theme is to buy a pre-designed train, castle, fort or other themed product from a play equipment manufacturer.

Some may wish to explore a more creative and local way to theme your play structure. Manufacturer sales representatives can help you design play structures that tie into your local heritage and history. One Midwest town designed a play structure to resemble a grain silo. A mountain town out west was completely surrounded by a fort with corner lookout posts and in Florida, theirs was a spaceship playground.

Incorporating water into parks and playgrounds is a booming topic. There are dozens of water play and water park companies tapping into the water play craze. And why not? It brings people to the park. Now think of the water park features that will define your community and help people feel they have an unparalleled attraction that they can identify with. It becomes a community standard.  

That is the beauty of themed parks. Commercial theme parks are a multi-billion dollar a year business. Everybody wants to experience that unique experience found only at Disney or Six Flags type attractions. Simplifying and downsizing this concept to fit your community’s tastes and desires will unite your community to a patriotic stance that comes from having a personalized and theme-based play area. Designing your parks around a theme will attract bigger crowds, especially at community events.

Last week I drove through a community that was touting cherries—they have “Cherry Days” with a parade and all. I am wondering what wonderful attraction a creative group of people could do with the city park and the cherry theme?

What is your community’s theme? I live next to Yellowstone Park. I am thinking grizzly bears. . .  

Thinking Today About Tomorrow's Play™ The only magazine that is 100% dedicated to the Playground Industry

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