Art And Play – Making Playgrounds Beautiful And Fun

Playgrounds are traditionally seen as areas with basic play equipment – poles, platforms, and slides. However, there’s a growing recognition that these spaces can be so much more.

They can be environments where both adults and children find joy and engagement, not just through physical play but also through the integration of art.

This fusion of art and play in playgrounds can transform them from standard play areas into unique, stimulating, and playful environments.

Caroline Bay Playground uses art to craete a beautiful and fun space!

The Importance of Beautiful Spaces

The design of communal spaces plays a crucial role in our social and communal lives. Beyond their functional purpose, these areas should be places where people genuinely enjoy spending time and feel a sense of peace and belonging.

The power of aesthetically pleasing spaces lies in their ability to evoke emotions and foster connections, something that sterile, purely functional spaces often fail to achieve.

In playgrounds, the integration of beauty and play is particularly important. These are not just areas for physical activity but spaces where fun, learning, and art can coexist, helping people of all ages engage with their surroundings meaningfully.

Why Fun Places are Essential

Research in children’s behavioural studies consistently highlights the link between fun and learning. Engaging in enjoyable activities is recognised as one of the most effective ways to stimulate young minds.

It encourages children to challenge themselves, enhancing their motor skills, creativity, and social interactions. However, the traditional design of playgrounds often focuses solely on children, leaving adults on the benches.

The challenge lies in creating playgrounds that are equally enjoyable for adults. This can be achieved by including multi-generational playground equipment or designing playgrounds as interactive art pieces that captivate and engage all ages.

Full Service Design and Build companies work with you from concept.
Bespoke designs can make your playground unique and playful.

The Synergy of Art and Play

The integration of art and play in playgrounds offers a multitude of benefits. From an aesthetic standpoint, it can significantly enhance the visual appeal of these spaces.

Art in playgrounds can also establish a cultural connection, particularly when bespoke, locally inspired designs are implemented.

Collaborating with local artists supports the local arts scene and ensures that the playground reflects the community’s identity and heritage. This approach transforms playgrounds into spaces celebrating local culture and history, going beyond their traditional role as play areas.

Artistic playgrounds can become storytelling spaces where narratives are brought to life in a way that is engaging and interactive. This sparks children’s imagination and provides an educational dimension, making these stories more relatable and impactful.

The Broader Impact of Artistic Playgrounds

While standard playgrounds with their typical equipment are found everywhere, those that incorporate thoughtful design and local cultural elements can have a greater impact.

These playgrounds can evolve into community landmarks – places not just for play but for learning, socialising, and cultural exchange. They become destinations that draw people together, fostering community and belonging.

This transformation shows the true potential of playgrounds when they are designed with intention and creativity. Spaces that integrate art become more than just physical spaces; they are social and cultural hubs, reflecting the community’s identity and fostering a sense of belonging and connection.

Inspired to see how art can transform your community’s playgrounds? At Creo, our team of experienced designers specialises in creating playgrounds that are not just places to play but spaces that inspire, educate, and bring communities together. To explore how we can bring this vision to life in your community, call us at 08000 000 334 or email [email protected].


The Complete Guide To Playground Towers

Playground towers, key components in children’s play areas, offer a world of adventure, challenge, and learning. These structures, varying in complexity and design, are crucial for the physical, cognitive, and social development of kids.

Below, we compiled a list of all the towers you can have in your playground and what features they offer.

Basic Play Towers

Basic play towers are perfect for the youngest adventurers. These simple structures typically feature a slide and a few climbing elements.

They provide a safe and enjoyable introduction to outdoor play, catering to toddlers and preschoolers.

They are not as costly as other playground towers, but are not as packed with details and play value.

Multi-Activity Towers

Multi-activity towers are the centrepieces of fun and learning. They often include slides, climbing walls, rope bridges, and lookout platforms. These towers encourage physical development and cognitive skills like problem-solving and decision-making, offering a variety of activities in one place.

Boats are great for thematic playground design. It reflect the local heritage.
Shorland Park wanted a boat tower to reflect on its local heritage.

Themed Towers

Themed towers, such as pirate ships, castles, space rockets, and jungle huts, spark children’s imaginations. These play structures support creative and role-playing activities, which are crucial for language development and social skills.

Climbing Towers

Climbing towers, with their rock walls, rope ladders, and nets, focus on physical development. They help improve strength, coordination, and confidence, challenging children who love to climb. Different from multi-activity towers, these are focused on the climbing challenges.

Adventure Towers

Adventure towers are designed for the brave and energetic. These complex structures have multiple levels, different types of slides, and challenging climbing elements. They are well-suited for older children seeking thrilling play experiences.

Observation Towers

Observation towers, taller than most, offer a bird’s-eye view of the surroundings. Climbing to the top can enhance a child’s spatial awareness and appreciation for the environment, fostering a sense of discovery. The benefit of these towers are the role they can play along the whole space design.

Interactive Towers

Interactive towers blend play with learning. They may include sound-producing features, telescopes, or educational panels, offering sensory experiences that are both fun and educational. These towers can be built indoors or outdoors, packed with technology.

Sensory Towers

Sensory towers engage various senses through elements that produce sounds, have diverse textures, and are visually stimulating. These towers are especially beneficial for children with sensory processing disorders, enhancing sensory development in a playful environment. 

Rope Course Towers

Rope course towers integrate elements of balance and coordination. With suspended bridges and balance beams, these structures provide a physically challenging experience that enhances problem-solving skills and physical fitness

Marae Modular Play Equipment Tower at Whitikau Reserve Playground
Opotiki, Whitikau Reserve Playground with Creo's modular tower.

Slide Towers

Slide towers focus primarily on the joy of sliding, featuring multiple slides of different types and heights. They cater to children’s love for speed and excitement, promoting balance and coordination. Simple, they are staples on playgrounds, where users go up the platform and slide down.

Modular Towers

Modular towers offer customization and adaptability. These structures can be expanded or changed with various components, making them a sustainable choice for evolving play needs. 

Junior Towers

Designed for younger children, junior towers are smaller and less complex. They provide safe and accessible play options for toddlers, featuring activities that are easy and safe for little ones to navigate.

Senior Towers

In contrast, senior towers cater to older children ready for more challenging play. These structures are higher and more complex, with advanced features that promote physical skills and adventurous play.

Safety Considerations

Safety is paramount in playground design. It’s crucial to ensure that towers are age-appropriate, well-constructed, and regularly maintained. Parents and caregivers should always supervise children to ensure safe play.

Lorna Irene Reserve Playground
Lorna Irene Reserve Playground, Inclusive tower by Creo.

Choosing the Right Playground Tower

Selecting the right playground tower involves considering the child’s age, interests, and available space. It’s important to balance fun, safety, and developmental appropriateness in your choice.

The Future of Playground Towers

The future of playground towers is bright, with ongoing advancements in technology and design. New trends are constantly emerging, promising even more engaging, safe, and innovative play structures for children.


Playground towers, in their  many shapes, are more than play structures, they can be pieces of art, or features to spark imagination and foster learning. Whether a basic tower for toddlers or a complex adventure tower for older children, each type plays a vital role in a child’s development.

As we continue to recognize the importance of play, the world of playground towers will continue to evolve, offering diverse and exciting experiences for children of all ages.