Cookie-cutter playsystems with posts and elevated decks are beginning to give way to new innovative designs. Since the early 1970s, playgrounds have invariably featured composite playstructures with elevated decks. And while these traditional playsystems have their place, new design trends are increasingly breaking this traditional mold, offering users an array of functionally linked net climbers, fitness clusters, and independent slides. Prime examples can be found (and played on) at newly opened Helen Diller Playground at San Francisco’s beautiful Mission Dolores Park and Calabazas Park in San Jose. Both of these exciting new playgrounds offer different textures, enhanced play value, and a new approach to inclusiveness with most play events at ground level. New school playgrounds, like Eleanor Nixon School near the Stanford University campus also increasingly favor non-traditional playground design and an emphasis on fitness for kids. Personally, I love these fresh, exciting new trends because they offer children greater opportunities for self-directed play, and greater accessibility for kids (and adults) of all abilities.
Click here to check out a video of the Helen Diller Playground grand opening.