Play Design

Embracing functionality, thrills, and aesthetics

Great playground design inspires children of all ages to play, and play develops young bodies and minds. The KOMPAN Play Institute is dedicated to creating fascinating play opportunities that are functionally stimulating and visually attractive.

Play design must embrace the aesthetics that appeal to the users and make them want to visit the playground again and again. More importantly, play design must contribute to the overall development of the children. Therefore, the Institute is committed to testing every aspect of play for a KOMPAN playground.

Before manufacturing begins, all products are taken through four important steps:

  1. Pre-production research

  2. In-house workshops

  3. On-site testing

  4. Product development

This ensures that KOMPAN continues to deliver the unique and user-centric play equipment that is at the heart of GREAT playgrounds.

Exploring the benefits of challenging play

This article debates the importance of thrill in children’s play. Playgrounds are places where children learn how to navigate the world securely. An important life skill that children only learn by doing.

Many parents and grandparents find playgrounds too risky. However, existing research shows that good playgrounds are important for developing the physical literacy of children and that physically challenging play actions teach children how to handle risk.

Get a profound understanding of the benefits of challenging playgrounds by reading this article.

Video: User testing by KOMPAN Play Institute

Play Design

Play value - The influence of playground equipment

Important developmental domains such as social, cognitive, and language development are not the usual center of attention in playground research.

So the KOMPAN Play Institute set out to investigate to which extent play structures with a wide variety of activity panels influence these important development domains.

Play panels provide extra play value and can be used to advance the social-emotional and cognitive development of a child.

Read the findings of the KOMPAN Play Institute to know more about what kind of playground equipment educators and park planners should invest in for their particular user groups, and why.

Innovative play - The key to more play

Playgrounds are the place within parks where children expend the most energy. So the KOMPAN Play Institute set out to examine the retention of children and their parents on a newly refurbished playground at Flag Pole Hill Park in Dallas, Texas. The research included interviews with 177 adults and 50 children.

“The outdoor playground is great for my child’s health and important because of the ability to get outside and get fresh air!”, one parent stated. The research done by the KOMPAN Play Institute shows that 98% of parents found playgrounds to be important. The main reasons are the positive influence on their children’s health and the fresh air. The new, exciting playground at Flag Pole Hill Park increased its use by 77%.

Of the parents who attended the park, 73% stated that their main reason for visiting this playground was the unique play equipment. It is important for a playground to have unique play equipment intended for different age groups. Providing a wide variety of play equipment ensures that the play area can be fun and attractive for all ages and abilities!

Unique play designs - Increase play duration

The KOMPAN Play Institute has developed research regarding what causes a playground to be more visited and interesting from a user perspective. A case study was held on a refurbished playground at Frimley Lodge Park in the UK.

Included in the study were interviews with 262 adults and 95 children.

The study showed that more than half of the playground’s regular visitors increased their visits to the park after the refurbishment.

Click the button below to learn more about the research and read KOMPAN Play Institute’s five recommendations for designing attractive playgrounds that on average keep children playing for more than 60 minutes.

Our competences

Child Development and Play

Inclusive Play