In the words of Plato, “Life must be lived as play” and we couldn’t agree more. Play is one of the most important activities that a child needs to engage in; they learn, explore, solve problems and well, have good old-fashioned fun!
But a playground is just a playground right? You take a drive down the road to your local park and let the kids loose. Well no, a playground is not just a playground when you see what we’ve found for you here. These are some of the world’s most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G playgrounds. No plain old swings, slides and monkey bars here…these playgrounds have all been built with one thing in mind – kids! They’ve been built to stimulate their senses and fire up their imaginations. Just take a look at what we’ve got here. If you’re travelling in any of these parts of the world, these are without a doubt ‘MUST VISIT’ places.
Got a really, really cool playground in your neighbourhood that we haven’t covered, then why not become a Junior Detective and fill us in; be our eyes and ears on the ground.
Right, let’s get on with it, and prepare to be amazed.
Boadilla del Monte, Spain
This is certainly a chic playground to say the least, as its architecture alone is quite something to behold the eye. But there is so much more to this playground than how it was built. It does have some typical playground equipment, but they’ve really thought about ways to capture kids’ imaginations. There are dramatic shapes in the airy space which create cool shadows to challenge imaginations and unbelievably help them to understand spatial relationships. They’ve used colour and space to make this a balanced and stimulating atmosphere. Pretty awesome right? Can you imagine the kids exploring through this? They’d have a blast.
Water Playground in Tychy, Poland
There are water playgrounds everywhere and they’re all pretty standard, good to cool off on a hot summer’s day! But welcome to the Water Playground in Tychy, Poland. This water playground is unlike any we’ve seen and will have your kids charging off and playing for an entire day.
This aquatic playground is shaped like a peanut. What? Rather strange. Well they actually did this to fit in with the surrounding nature, so that no trees had to be moved or cut down. Awesome, environmentally friendly too! The boundary of the playground is against a backdrop of trees, which is great in summer as it provides heaps of natural shade. But the actual boundary fence has been made with exotic hardwood, to keep in line with the natural surroundings, and of course to keep little runners inside.
But what we really want to get to is what’s inside the boundary of this fence. Well quite frankly it’s like something out of a fantasy book. In fact, some people have said that it reminds them of Dr. Seuss or even Alice in Wonderland. Well that in itself says something.
They’ve used bold colours for the plant-like water toys and there is a bright blue basin, which for safety sake has a non-slip surface. They’ve really thought of everything. The water toys can be anything from a mild spurt to a blasting jet. Right in the middle is a sculpture that looks like a bunch of flowers, which will sprinkle water on you if you stand below it.
But wait until you see this place at night; it is magical! They turn it into a fountain show lit up by LED lights. You’re not allowed in at night, but the spectacular view will have you knocking on their door begging to go in again.
Woods of Net in Hakone, Japan
This is quite some playground. From afar it looks like a whole bunch of wooden block toys put together. Of course they’re much larger than the type kids play with as this is life-sized. It looks like it forms a part of the landscape and that it could be a sculpture, but walk a little closer and an amazing sight awaits you!
It’s a playground; one of the coolest, weirdest and amazing playgrounds that you could find. Outside it is as soft as a forest so to speak, shrouded in massive big wooden blocks, no metal parts at all, against a natural landscape of grass. When you walk inside it’s almost as if the outside and the inside all blend together. But what awaits you inside, is something so different and so unique. It is actually a big net, yes a net, which was entirely knitted by hand for kids to crawl in, roll around and jump on. A completely and utterly different kind of playground altogether.
The Brumleby Playground, Copenhagen
This is quite something on the eye! The Brumleby Playground is a topsy-turvy world which has three warped houses that are connected by balancing bridges, climbing grips on all the walls and slides coming out of the windows and even cooler, the ground is a set of lava tracks. How awesome is that? A perfect place to get muscles moving and imaginations firing on all cylinders. If the kids like a bit of the traditional too, there’s monkey bars, seesaws and swings as well.
But that’s not all; there are the three houses that we’ve mentioned, a baker’s shop and an ice-cream booth too. Nothing else needed!
When they designed this unique playground that wanted adults to enjoy the view and kids to have fun; the kids can do whatever they like, climb, balance, slide, rush in and out and charge up and down. If it all looks a bit wonky to you, don’t worry, they’ve also put safety into the equation.
Sculptural Playground, Germany
This is something quite extraordinary and if we were kids we’d be right on there too. Who says you can’t? This is a huge structure that is fun, fun, fun for the kids but is also bold and artistic, so it’s pleasing on the eye. There are two undulating green steel pipes that are connected by a tensioned climbing net. The whole structure winds in and out of existing trees and is a continuous loop giving kids heaps of space for all sorts of games. It’s like a giant tree house with heaps of added extras. There is a garden that the kids can climb up and down in or swing in-between, with different levels of difficulty, rubber plates which partially rotate and can give the kids a different climbing experience. They can even jump from plate to plate. There’s bouncing membranes, a nest swing, a sliding membrane and a steep climbing wall. They’ve also made small hills and rings from green soft rubber which is surrounded by sand and is where younger kids can play if they can’t quite master the play structure yet.
Amazingly they built this structure in a neglected area which has put the town of Wiesbaden back on the map with this super awesome play structure. The colours they used were to reflect the trees as well as the red buildings that are next to the park. The pentagonal shape of the structure was inspired by the city itself and its historic shape.
The Trinidad, Copenhagen
This playground is like a shipwreck at sea; it has been wrecked on a sandbank and is broken in two. Thinking of everything, there are even loads of ‘wreckage pieces’ spread out across the ‘make-believe’ water, such as boxes and logs. Not far from the main attraction lies the raft, the only chance of survival! The raft has a small mast and two boxes on deck. The box stack a couple of metres away leads kids to a high slide!
On the deck there are hand and foot supports and on the other side of the ship there are also climbing grips; loads of space to climb and run around.
This is a great playground for imaginative play and for the kids to get moving!
If your kids love playing with tyres then this is without a doubt the place to go. This unbelievable playground used about 3,000 tyres to create dinosaurs, monsters, bridges, slides and swings. Amazing! Think of the joy that kids can get from playing with a single tyre. Now think of the absolute pleasure they’ll get from a whole playground filled with tyres! If you want to get in on the action, you’re allowed to…perfect to relive your childhood. Grab a tyre and tube down a concrete slide. Just remember that the playground is for the kids and don’t forget about them as you have a blast too. The kids will absolutely love this with mountains, tubes and swings all made of tyres of course, that they can climb up, crawl through, jump and run. There is no grass here, just sand, so make sure all of you don’t wear your Sunday best…be prepared to get dirty.
This is a place you need to go to bounce around and have an absolute ball!
Parque Gulliver, Spain
This is without a doubt one of the most unique playgrounds we’ve seen, that is based on Gulliver’s Travels. It actually looks slightly scary when you first see it from the air, but what a sheer delight this is for kids.
Your kids can explore Gulliver from head to toe; they can go up his arms by stairs, slide down his waistcoat and hair, visit the caves in his sleeves and climb all those ropes that hold him down. What an amazing playground this is and they’ve built it exactly to scale so that your kids will feel like the real “Lilliputians” who have anchored Gulliver to their own sandbox!
In our eyes, this is definitely worth a visit, or two or three!
Takino Hillside, Japan
Oh wow, another spectacular playground which was completely inspired by nature and is just totally awesome. The whole theme of the playground is nests; sounds strange, but true and the idea was also to create a place where children could play freely in the natural environment. The playground is built into the side of a hill, which gives your kids different sensory experiences with different lighting, different sounds, bouncing hills made from plastic and foam and delightfully odd playhouses designed to look like massive beehives. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. There is also a Rainbow Nest Dome which is one of the favourites at this park.
As we said, it was inspired by nature to help kids be more connected to nature, even though some of the play structures are unlike anything you’ll find on earth! But that of course is a good thing as they use their imaginations to the full.
And just wait until winter as the entire park magically transforms into ‘Takino Snow World’, with loads of fun winter play like sledding and skiing.
Ghost Train, Peru
Who would have thought that old train ruins could be turned into a playground so unbelievable? This colourful space has been made entirely from trashed and recycled materials. There are horse-shaped tyre swings, zip lines and loads of climbing walls that used to be an awful eyesore at one point, now turned into one of the most amazing and unusual kids playgrounds. Once meant for an electric train that never arrived, the ugly cement columns and pass ways that stood high above Lima’s crowded streets has been turned into a vivid kids kingdom.
City Museum, Missouri
This place will rock your kids’ worlds. The entire place has been made from repurposed industrial objects which kids are encouraged to touch and climb. It is like one massive big jungle gym. Inside there is a giant slinky, a 10 storey slide and heaps of secret tunnels. What an amazing experience for kids. Outside airplane fuselages, fire trucks, a castle turret and wrought-iron netting create a playground scene like no other, where kids can run, jump, climb and play for hours and hours.
If you’re in Missouri, then just make sure you get here.
Adventure Playground, California
This place is just beyond awesome. If you’re planning to go here and see the latest and greatest equipment then this isn’t the place for you. This is like going back in time where kids were kids, and they had the freedom to play with whatever was there, using their imaginations and coming up with great games. At this place staff encourage kids to build their own forts, boats and towers using the tools provided. There’s a zipline for the speedster in your life and they can even hammer and saw or paint.
The whole ethos behind the playground is to help kids learn about co-operation, conquer physical challenges and through this gain self-confidence. The concept originated in Europe after World War II, where Lady Marjory Allen, a landscape architect and children’s advocate, studied children playing in what we would call ‘normal’ down the road playgrounds. She found that they preferred playing with things that they could move around or manipulate to make their own structures and this is how Adventure Playground was formed. Amazing huh? Your kids will just love, love this place.
Kid’s Castle Doylestown
If you just take a look at the picture of this place it conjures up images of complete awesomeness! The Kid’s Castle is an eight storey wooden playground that has a high castle with a slide, a friendly dragon, a tree house, a barnyard, a rocket ship, climbing spaces and hiding places as well as heaps and heaps of slides and swings.
What makes this place so special? Well firstly just the sheer beauty of it, but also the fact that this was a community funded project that was built by the sheer dedication of over 3,000 volunteers to make this awesome playground possible. How cool would it be to have this right on your doorstep?
Well as the name suggests, this playground will spark those imaginations out the park. Do you know what kids can do here? Well with the help of sand, water, mats, wagons, fabric, crates and foam blocks, they can build their own playground, or in fact they can build whatever they can dream up.
They can build and explore and the opportunities are endless. The idea behind this playground is to help kids engage in fantasy play as well as learn to co-operate with each other and use their muscles by running, jumping and climbing too. So, they can exercise their minds and their muscles all at the same time.
This one has got to be for the adults too. It is seriously cool.
What an absolute mix of truly amazing play spaces for kids. Not only will they love it, but you’re guaranteed to love these too!