Playgrounds: To theme or not to theme?

Playgrounds: To theme or not to theme?

Today’s playgrounds are fast becoming wonderlands of make-believe play and creativity. So, how far do you go when it comes to ‘theming’ – and does it really matter?

Of course, there’s not a clear-cut answer. But here are some great ideas to guide you.

Going the whole way

If you’re planning a true ‘destination’ playground and enjoy a healthy budget, the possibilities are endless. Around the world, we’ve seen the creation of full-scale themed spaces, like Stockholm's Fruit and Scent Park where kids can slide down banana peels, spin around on strawberries, and swing on cherries. Then there’s the Dinosaur Island adventure play area in West Sussex’s Southwater Country Park, fitted out by our very own eibe (whose products we distribute exclusively in Australia and New Zealand). With dinosaur bones to discover in the sand, aerial walkways, jungle swings and a climbing volcana, all set within a prehistoric swamp landscape, it’s a little adventurer’s paradise.

Make the most of the coast – or bring it to you

Theming doesn't have to be ‘all or nothing’: one clever piece can be an attraction in itself. If you’re in a coastal area, go nautical – and eibe’s range of pirate and play ships look amazing on and around beaches. In Auckland, a distinct but simple boating theme plays out beautifully. Of course, if you’re land-locked, adding a sailing adventure to your playground is even more novel!

Customisation is king

We can tailor themes for modular playgrounds, like the Bee Hive design, as well as specially designed equipment to match your vision (the quirkier, the better!). Even usually ‘cookie cutter’ playgrounds outside fast food restaurants can be made warm and welcoming: using PX software, eibe recently designed and installed a Burger King playground in Germany with more natural materials and a customised crown on top!

Historical or cultural

Subtle, tailored themes are an effective nod to natural and historical surrounds. Auckland’s Maungawhau Reserve has a six-metre high climbing net in the shape of a volcanic cone. Tribal authorities were consulted on design options, so natural colours and materials were used with thatched roofs on towers.

The simple things

Budget blues? Don’t worry. Simple, colourful imaginative touches are a cost-effective way to get imaginations running wild – and attract enthusiastic fans! In fact, if you’re appealing to a wider audience, variety can be better than one single theme. From train and carriage units to springer rockers and windsurfers, it’s all fun!

Like to add some magical make-believe to your playground? Big or small – we’d love to help!