Five steps to a fun, inspiring and active outdoor area for all ages

Active outdoor area for kids

Are you designing an activity area? Here are the best five tips to consider, when starting the design work.


A natural way to design playgrounds and other outdoor activity areas should be to make them inclusive. Children and adults with different physique and abilities need to be considered in all design aspects, whether they are cultural or motoric. 


If the parents thrive and have fun in the park – so will the children. Adults don’t always need their own set of sports equipment at the local playground, but it helps. In some countries they use QR signage with traditional play equipment with a sort of personal online trainer who helps adults start their outdoor training sessions.

Help parents be a good example to their children by designing areas that make grownups active!

“What gives a better feeling of accomplishment both to child and adult than overcoming a challenge?”


Think outside of the box. It is easy to just place different play and sports equipment in a park, but is that all that is needed for an inspiring time together with friends?

Give room for imagination and other types of play too! Make the safety surface blue and design it to look like a waves on a stormy day. Implement nature within the park with rocks, trees and natural surfaces like real grass. Make the whole park a gigantic board game where the player is the pawn, or hide educational Easter eggs in the area.

And the two most important steps?


Don’t be afraid of carousels and other fast-running or spinning equipment. Spinning till you get sick is (especially for kids) one of the most joyful experiences in the park.  It is even good for their brains and evolvement of their sense of balance.


The same goes for heights! What is scary for one child, might not even be a challenge for the other. Don’t dull the playground out in fear of risks as it will probably make the area less attractive and fun.

What gives a better feeling of accomplishment both to child and adult than overcoming a challenge and conquering a fear? 

Jens Lindgren

Playground & outdoor sports area professional
Lappset Finland

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