The COVID-19 pandemic has swept the nation. People have been under enforced lockdown for months, with restrictions on travel everywhere. During lockdown however, we’ve all had one form of escape, one form of fresh air and that’s been the open spaces right there in our parks and forests.
Parks and playgrounds unfortunately during this time have been completely shut down due to the concern of passing the virus through touch points on slides, swings and more.
With lockdown easing and parks now beginning to open, it’s important to remember that social distancing is still very much in place. With that in mind, it begs the question, ‘how may playground layouts change in the aftermath of COVID-19?’
Berlin-based designers Claudio Rimmele and Martin Binder have come up with an incredible playground concept known as the RimBin. The RimBin is supposed to provide an ‘infection free’ playground area where children can enjoy the usual fun and creative spaces associated with playgrounds while still maintaining social distancing.
Rim Bin Playground - Source Dezeen.com
The RimBin looks almost lily-pad like in it’s entirety, shaped like a cluster of ‘pads’ sitting on a pond shaped space. It would provide individual playing spaces for each child while still allowing children to see each other and communicate with ease. It would also give children the opportunity to see whether playing pods ahead are already occupied or not.
Each pod could accommodate different activities from sand play to seesaws and even slides. While this concept is nothing short of incredible, it’s unlikely that huge playground concept designs such as these are likely to be made available during this pandemic or at least during the height of the pandemic when we undoubtedly need it the most.
While we may not see concept playgrounds like this come to fruition, what we must do is begin to look at playgrounds differently. During this pandemic, it’s no secret that we’ve realised the important of parks; especially in inner city living where people are less likely to have any private outdoor space. Parks and playgrounds need to be accessible but they also need to be safe.
While it is undoubtedly too early to tell exactly how playgrounds will change, we can begin to look at the likely changes. Perhaps we’ll see more disinfectant stations, more hand washing stations or even volunteer monitors to ensure people wash their hands where needed.
It’s also likely that we’ll begin looking at what materials are used in playground toys to find a safer material in terms of virus transfer. It may even be a case of simply looking for the easiest material to keep clean before looking closely at layout.
While the verdict is still out with regards to how exactly playgrounds may change in the aftermath of COVID-19, what is an absolute certainty is just how much we need these outdoor spaces. Whether that’s in public parks or school playgrounds.
If you’d like more information on our outdoor playground equipment or even help from our incredible design team to help you create a socially distanced playground, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 01702 804198.