10 Favourite Natural Playground Elements
21 Aug
10 Favourite Natural Playground Elements
Posted by Joanna Francis

We think that natural elements should be a key part of any playground, not just an afterthought. It pays to start by creating a natural ‘canvas’, defining the main pathways where people will transition through the site (‘desire’ lines) and then create natural elements around that. Think about this from the start and then design […]

15 Aug
10 Playground Elements For Tiny Tots
Posted by Joanna Francis

Toddlers are bundles of energy. They’re constantly squirming, crawling, spinning, and jumping. Playgrounds can be great environments for toddlers to play, challenge their abilities and engage their senses. But play spaces often require a bit more intention in design to make them appropriate and fun for younger kids. We’ve put together a collection of ten of our favorite DIY elements for toddlers. Check them out!

1. Tire Tunnel

The tire tunnel could not be easier to build, and it’s a great versatile element for toddlers–they can climb through it, crawl over it, or hide inside.

2. Sensory Garden

Toddlers are highly tactile, so a playground garden is a perfect element –they love touching new textures, looking for patterns and smelling the flowers. Be sure to exclude any poisonous plants and include a few edible vegetables or herbs to add to the sensory experience!

3. Earth Mound Small

Simple hills are perfect for toddler playgrounds because they add dimension to the space and are endlessly fun to run up and down and up and down and up and down.

4. Slide Tile

This simple slide is nearly indestructible. It’s made from concrete and floor tiles, so the slide surface won’t get too hot in the sun. Combine the slide with an earth mound and toddlers will have a gentle slope to climb up to their slide, which is prevents tumbles and falls from a traditional slide ladder.

5. Bucket Seat

This toddler swing seat is super simple to construct. It just requires a few tire threads and bolts!

6. Tire Sandpit Combo

We believe every playground should have a sandpit! Sand is the perfect creative play material because it allows kids to shape, mold, and create new forms each time.

7. Big Xylo

Add a little music to your playground with this DIY xylophone!

8. A-Frame Cubby Climber

This cubby climber is perfect for a toddler playground. They’ll love crawling inside and playing peek-a-boo with their friends outside. It also allows for a safe, cozy space when kids need a little spot to sit and watch the world. More confident or older kids can use the peek holes as climbing holds and crawl all over it.

9. Half tire square

An easy design to put together, and great for little kids to climb, jump and balance on.

10. Double drum.

We love incorporating musical elements into playgrounds, and this is a great one for toddlers (and older kids too!)


Please help us to continue creating and sharing free resources, so that you and others all over the world can keep creating awesome play spaces for kids!


10 Playground Elements For Tiny Tots
13 Aug
10 Free Resources To Help You Create Your Own Playground
Posted by Joanna Francis

Building your own playground can be a daunting task. Whether it’s to be part of a school, an early childhood centre, or as part of a community you’re involved with, there is much to think about. How do I work with the community to ensure that they and their needs are at the centre of the design? What elements should I include? What materials should I use? How do I make sure it’s safe? All these questions (and no doubt many more) will inevitably be running through your head, and if you don’t have much experience in building, it can feel overwhelming. Enter this week’s post which contains within it 10 FREE resources that can help you answer these questions, and indeed all the ones you hadn’t yet thought of!

You may have already cottoned on, but actually everything on our website – yes EVERYTHING – can be accessed by anyone, for free. Zip, zilch, nada. We are proud of this open source website and believe in the power of sharing, and we’d love to hear from you about how you use these resources to create your own unique play space for kids. Just create an account on our website and begin your playground building journey!

1. Playground Starter Kit

All the basics and eight of our most popular and easy low-cost designs to get you started.

2. The Playground Builder’s Handbook

Everything you need to build a playground wherever you are, using local tools, materials and skills.

3. Playground Safety Handbook

A pictorial guide to the basics of International safety standards.

4. Loose Parts Manual

The DIY guide to creating a playground in a box.

5. Inclusive Design Manual

A guide to creating play spaces which welcome children of all abilities.

6. Cut and Paste Playground Designer

Create your playground site plan, with paper, scissors and glue.

7. Play-Based Teacher Training Manual

Equipping educators to support play in and out of the classroom.

8. The Case for Play

A compilation of the best research on play and why our children need it!

9. Design Library

Over 150 playground elements, each with full building instructions.

10. 3D online Design Tool

Our amazing 3D online planning tool that allows you to drag and drop design elements into your playground plan, move them around and walk around inside your design!

Please help us to continue creating and sharing free resources, so that you and others all over the world can keep creating awesome play spaces for kids!


10 Free Resources To Help You Create Your Own Playground
3 Aug
1 Million
Posted by playgroundideasadmin
On November 7th 2017, Playground Ideas’ impact reached


And 2018 also marks Playground Ideas’ ten year anniversary! In that time, over
communities have built play spaces to improve their children’s education, health and long term life outcomes.
Communities everywhere, in 143 countries have used our support and resources.
In 2005 Marcus, Founder and CEO built 1 playground in Cambodia.

Playground 11, 4th feb 2009
In 2008,
with a small team of
amazing volunteers, we built
20 playgrounds.
In 2017 alone,
communities built
692 playgrounds.

Our first and probably still coolest cubby from 25th October 2007

Playground 11, 4th Feb 2009

Guatemala, 15th May 2015

And we are not slowing down, with 50 Playgrounds currently being built in india
Playground Ideas is nothing without the incredible community that takes our resources and brings them to life: for example

Think Playgrounds

Grass Malaysia

Joyce Vernon

For every dollar we receive to fund Playground Ideas work, another
$2.50is raised by a community member somewhere around the world.

The entire cost of running Playground Ideas breaks down to
$0.86cper child impacted.
Donate and help us reach another million children.


Create an account, access our free resources and build your own playground.


1 Million
5 Jul
10 Organisations Bringing Play To Kids All Over The World
Posted by Joanna Francis

Soon after Playground Ideas began, we realised that we were not the only people building playgrounds. We started discovering like-minded individuals and organisations all over the globe, and we decided to create a network, believing that we could do more work, and better work, together than we could apart. And so the Global Play Alliance was born. Today, we’d love to introduce you to some of our fellow global playground builders:

1. Think Playgrounds, Vietnam

A fantastic team working to promote the importance of play and build urban playgrounds in cities across Vietnam

2. East African Playgrounds, Uganda

Tom Gill and Carla Powell, a UK couple started up East African Playgrounds in 2009 and since then have created countless playgrounds across Uganda,3.

3. Pop-up Adventure Playgrounds, UK

The creators of our Loose Parts Play manual, these guys travel the world, sharing their love and enthusiasm of play work and helping bring creative, self directed play spaces to communities in the UK and beyond.

4. Rise Now

Rise Now’s playground program in India, Mexico and across Africa helps bring playgrounds to communities that previously had no designated areas for them and engages the local communities in all aspects of the projects.

5. City of Play, Glasgow, UK.

The City of Play is a unique social enterprise; a multi-disciplined design practice that helps communities create inclusive and engaging ‘places of play’ all across Scotland and beyond.

6. Gudgudee, India

An all female design studio in India that designs and builds interesting, unique play spaces for children.

7. Empower Playgrounds, Ghana

Empower Playgrounds enhances educational opportunities for children in deprived villages in Ghana, West Africa through providing innovative play based learning opportunities.

8. Eco Cabezas, Guatemala

The brain child of Ancris Garcia Cabezas, Eco Cabezas designs and builds eco homes, farms and playgrounds, using the principles of permaculture and priding themselves on inclusive, creative design.

9. Play Pilipinas, the Philippines

“Protecting the adventures of childhood so every child will be ready to face the adventures of life”.

10. Our Global Builders Facebook group has become a great source of ideas, support and inspiration for fellow playground builders the world over.

Please help us to continue creating and sharing free resources, so that you and others all over the world can keep creating awesome play spaces for kids!

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