Designing a Musical Playground
Music is a universal language everyone understands. Experiencing music in the great outdoors is a fantastic way to promote better community engagement by bringing people together. Adding musical elements to an outdoor playground provides a unique and enjoyable way for kids to enjoy the outdoors and can have many positive effects on their development. Designing a dedicated kids’ outdoor music playground or music park in your community or neighborhood is a fantastic project to take on!
Why Build a Musical Playground?
A musical playground encourages sensory play, which is essential to a kid’s development and growth. Musical instruments stimulate the sense of hearing during play and allow kids to process sounds. Kids can learn to sort through multiple sounds and interpret what they hear — from other kids playing around them to the sounds made by the musical instruments. They can also express themselves creatively by combining movement with music to improve their physical abilities.
There are many benefits of a musical playground:
- Improves speech and language skills: Learning music aids in developing the left side of the brain, which is associated with language and reasoning. Music also enhances phonological awareness, which refers to a person’s ability to distinguish, compare and use syllables in words.
- Creates emotional and social connections: Music can help kids learn how to express, understand and process their emotions. Incorporating music into the playground may bring kids with similar musical interests together and help them form social connections.
- Increases memory, attention and concentration: Music increases kids’ attention and memory recall. Plus, music can activate the part of the brain related to attention control and auditory encoding.
- Aids in development: Music is for everyone. Playing musical instruments significantly impacts kids who experience developmental delays and is very influential in enhancing human development.
- Stimulates creative thinking: Music helps increase learning abilities in other areas by developing creative thinking skills. Music’s stimulating effects can jump-start innovative thinking, allowing kids to approach complex academic subjects from new perspectives and develop creative solutions.
Designing a Musical Playground
Ready to start building your music playground or music park but need help knowing where to begin? The right ideas and direction can turn your good idea into an attainable goal. Here’s a handy list of five things to consider as you work on bringing your vision to life:
1. Seek Out Inspiration
Before jumping into designing a musical playground, start by seeking inspiration. The “inspiration phase” may be the most crucial part of the design process because it lays the groundwork for the rest of the project. Look at various sources — like existing musical playgrounds — to get the creativity flowing. Whether physically going to these playgrounds or searching them online, take inspiration from each.
Note what makes each playground stand out and how it can benefit your community. Perhaps you have a specific musical community playground theme you aspire to achieve. Inspiration provides the means and the motivation to move closer to goals, be creative and learn from others. Collaborating with other individuals helps spark new ideas and perspectives.
2. Form a Planning Committee
Collaborating with others will help with the inspiration for the project, and having a supportive team of individuals with a wide range of skill sets can help accomplish the goal of constructing a musical playground. The collaboration between individuals of different professions and roles is ideal for ensuring a cohesive and practical approach. So, enlist the help of others in your community.
Here is a list of potential planning committee members that may have an interest in encouraging an enjoyable community playground:
- Council officers and members
- Landscape architects
- Kid’s services professionals
- Parks and recreation managers
3. Choose a Location
Once there’s an idea and committee, the next step is to decide on the best location for the community playground. Consider the existing facilities already in place — like an existing park or play area. Know that the musical playground will become a fun destination for families in and around the area. Thus, it’s ideal to choose a location that is easily accessible for kids.
A well-designed musical playground is inclusive and accessible so that children of varying abilities can play together. Also, consider the parents and caregivers who accompany the kids. A musical playground’s location is particularly important as it will generate quite a bit of noise. Make sure your location complies with local noise ordinances and zoning laws.
4. Set a Budget
Once you have a plan for your playground, determine the budget and playground funding. Your budget will help you decide the scope of equipment you can buy. The budget for the playground will depend on the available space, the needs and goals of the playground and other elements such as the following:
- Site preparation
- Building and playground equipment
- Surfacing materials
- Equipment and materials shipment
- Shading structures
- Playground amenities
- Construction contingency
In addition, consider various financing resources to bring the community playground to life. Getting grants from the government or other organizations interested in bringing play to your community may be possible. Playground fundraising is a popular way to raise funds. Otherwise, consider playground phasing, which allows you to build and pay for individual sections of your playground.
5. Create Your Layout
When designing the layout of a musical playground, consider the layout and placement of the musical and play elements you want to install. There are a wide variety of playground elements to choose from. Creating a happy environment for the kids is essential, so ensure that the playground equipment meets or exceeds playground standards. The number and size of these elements play a role in the playground’s layout.
Remember to add other sensory playground equipment to create a sensory-rich experience for the kids. A sensory playground will help stimulate the senses and promote development in kids. One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your playground is welcoming and enjoyable is to design its layout so that it’s accessible to a broad range of physical abilities.
6. Bring Your Vision to Life
It’s finally time to install the playground and bring your vision to life! To physically install the music playground, you can either opt for a team of professionals or have community volunteers come together under a professional’s supervision. Hiring a professional ensures a properly installed playground. Involving the local community is an excellent way for families and individuals to meet and for new residents to become involved.
Whatever the size and complexity of your project, we recommend that you have a few skilled individuals on hand. Recruiting volunteers can help you save money on playground installation. Any opportunity to cut costs can be highly beneficial to your budget.
Contact Miracle® Recreation to Design Your Musical Playground
Designing a musical playground is a fun and creative process that can bring the community together. Combine a kid’s natural love of playtime, movement and music with the Miracle Recreation Concerto line of outdoor musical equipment. The Vibes (xylophone) Chimes, Cabasas and Congas help engage kids’ auditory senses and encourage inclusive play. Let your community playground stand out from the rest and include other sensory playground equipment for a truly multisensory experience.
Are you feeling inspired? Contact your local Miracle Reaction representative to request a quote for your project today!