Children love to climb! Playgrounds with climbing activities are among the favorite places for kids to play. In the last decade, the fastest-growing trend on playgrounds is all about climbing higher!
Playground towers are play structures with platforms above eight feet. They give children a sky-high view of the playground and make the park more noticeable to people driving by. Towers attract people and encourage children to play and explore for longer periods.
Read on and learn how tower playgrounds can help you take play to new heights.
Keeping Up With Safety Standards
Even though climbing comes naturally to most children, many playground designers were limited in how high a playground could be because of various safety standards. In the last decade, playground safety surfacing has advanced to provide better fall cushioning and made it possible to build larger play structures.
“Towers have been trending up for ten years or more,” says Christi Hamilton, GameTime Product Manager. “15-20 years ago when I first started in the industry, there weren’t a whole lot of towers because of the safety surfacing standards at the time.”
Advances in safety surfacing technology made it possible for landscape architects and designers to create taller and more exciting play structures.
Playground designers and landscape architects now build taller and more visually exciting playgrounds. When you combine fully enclosed platforms at higher elevations with the appropriate safety surfacing, children can climb higher than ever before!
Tower playgrounds get people's attention. With roof heights up to 18-feet tall, they are noticeable from a distance and draw people into parks and play areas. But there’s more to towers than their height. Research suggests they enhance curiosity, promote physical activity, and bolster a child’s resilience and self-confidence
“GameTime and PlayCore have done a great job at doing research and having evidence-based design practices,” says Lewis Painter, Partner at Great Western Recreation. “They understand people and how they interact with playgrounds and with one another. And that research allows us to build playgrounds that facilitate the natural play patterns people engage in like climbing.”
Creating Landmark Parks
Advanced playground safety surfacing means landscape architects can get more creative with their designs. This has given rise to another trend in playground design - custom and themed destination play areas.
“I’m seeing this trend with a lot of municipalities, where instead of trying to create 20 different pocket parks, they’re building these giant destination playgrounds, splash pads, or rec centers,” says Bill Patterson, CR Studio Design Consultant. “And a great way to attract attention to your park is to build a custom playground with tall structures like towers.”
Toucan Hideaway in West Chicago, Ill. is a perfect example of a park going above and beyond to attract attention. The playground includes massive towers that are taller than some of the nearby trees. You can see the park from miles away!
The playground towers at Toucan Hideaway Playground in West Chicago, Illinois are part of an exciting rainforest theme.
“Theming parks is something that I’ve seen more communities focus on,” says Lewis Painter. “Not only is it fun for kids, but it also provides a 'placemaker' within the community and becomes a landmark for the city.”
Ready Made and Custom Tower Playground Designs
Because customers want custom playgrounds and towers, GameTime combined these two trends. The new Altus Tower line gives customers an easy way to personalize a playground tower. You can select the color and style of an Altus tower, and there are options for different panels, slides, and stairways.
“We understand that towers are really popular. But at GameTime, we’ve taken that a step further with something like the Altus towers. You have all of these different options for paneling, stairs, and slide configurations,” says Christi Hamilton. “And on top of that, you have tons of theming options and colors, particularly with the Overlook Climber attachment.”
The Overlook Climber attaches to the outside of a tower! The design alleviates congestion inside the tower and gives children a whole new climbing experience. Instead of steps or ladder rungs, Overlook has flexible climbing platforms that move slightly as you climb. They also double as seating areas.
Bring a Tower Playground to Your Town
Ready to bring a playground tower to your park or school? Children will love the height of the structure and appreciate a fresh perspective of the world. Tower playgrounds also serve as community landmarks and recreation destinations.
Whether you’re looking for an affordable tower option or a custom-themed play experience, GameTime can help! Contact the local play expert in your neighborhood and start planning your new playground today.