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.

Conclusion

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.

Common issues with artificial surfacing and how to fix it

You might be considering artificial surfacing for its ability to create tidy, clean spaces. It’s a fantastic way to maintain aesthetics and functionality. 

However, as with any material, artificial surfaces come with their own set of challenges. 

In this article, we will explore the common issues associated with artificial surfacing and offer practical solutions to prevent and fix these problems.

Wet Pour Rubber

Wet pour rubber is a resilient, seamless surface often used in playgrounds for its safety and aesthetic appeal. It comes in different types, such as EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), SBR (Styrene-Butadiene Rubber), and TPV (Thermoplastic Vulcanizates).

Each type has distinct characteristics. EPDM and SBR are lower-quality rubber surfaces that can chalk with time and do not have the same UV protection as Rosehill TPV.

The choice of resin significantly impacts the quality of wet-pour rubber. Aliphatic resin is a high-quality option that ensures better colour protection and longevity, especially under UV exposure. 

On the other hand, while more cost-effective, aromatic resin offers inferior UV protection, leading to quicker degradation and colour fading.

Common Problems

  • Chipping: Occurs due to poor installation or heavy use.
  • Fading Colours: UV exposure can degrade the colour vibrancy.
  • Mould Growth: Caused by moisture and lack of proper maintenance.
Solutions
  • Right Surface Choice: Opt for TPV combined with aliphatic resin for enhanced colour retention, especially in sunny, UV-intense areas.
  • Expert Installation: Ensure the surface is professionally installed to reduce the risk of chipping.
  • Regular Maintenance: Use mild detergent and cold water for cleaning to prevent mould, extending the surface’s life.
Learn more:
Wet pour rubber surface

Artificial Turf

Artificial turf is a popular choice for its natural grass-like appearance and feel. It’s particularly suited for landscaping in high-traffic areas due to its durability and ease of maintenance. If installed with a shock pad layer, it can be used with other play equipment, such as swings and towers.

Problems
  • Drainage Issues: Poor installation can lead to water retention and drainage problems.
  • Slippage on Mounds: Turfs installed on uneven surfaces like mounds can slip and create hazards.

Solutions

  • Flat Surface Installation: Ensure installation on flat surfaces to avoid slippage and uneven wear.
  • Regular Grooming: Maintain the turf by adding sand and regular brushing to keep it stable and aesthetically pleasing.

Play Tiles

Play tiles have been a staple in playground surfacing for years, offering a balance of safety and practicality.

Issues

  • Shifting and Unevenness: Poor installation can shift tiles over time, creating tripping hazards.
  • Water Pooling: Inadequate drainage can cause water to accumulate, making the surface slippery.

Solutions

  • Stable Installation: Ensure a professional, stable installation to prevent shifting.
  • Effective Drainage: Incorporate proper drainage solutions to avoid water pooling and maintain safety.

Learn more:

Making playground surface costs more affordable

How to budget for your playground surfacing

Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch, made from recycled tires, is an eco-friendly surfacing option that blends well with natural landscapes.

Common Problem

  • Safety Hazards: Inferior quality mulch can break down, creating choking hazards, especially for young children.
Solution
  • Quality and Placement: Use high-quality mulch and avoid placing it in high-traffic areas. Regular inspections can help identify and mitigate potential hazards.

Conclusion

Artificial surfacing offers many benefits for high-traffic and design-focused areas, but being aware of potential issues is essential. Partnering with experienced professionals ensures that your surface design is visually appealing but also safe and long-lasting.

If you want to know more and start your journey with Creo, don’t hesitate to contact our team at 0800 000 334 or email info@creospace.co.nz.