One of the most important concepts to keep in mind when designing a playground is balance. The concept of balance can be applied to many playscape planning areas that should be considered before construction, such as making sure the functionality of the equipment varies to cater to different tastes. Also, features that are different shapes and sizes stabilize each other in terms of visual appeal. Moreover, maintaining an array of colors that come together to form an equal range is important—such as finding equilibrium between light and dark, dim and bright, and prime and secondary colors. Basically, playground balance can be seen as a combination of shape, color, and functionality that together are both aesthetically pleasing and exciting.
For instance, when considering what features should be including in your design, consider the different age groups that will be using the site and make sure that each group has a few options to chose from. For the younger range, those might include slides, swings, and spring riders; for the older range, those might include overhead challenges, climbers, and physical obstacles. Overall, a variety of equipment is the surest way to gain balance.
When dealing with shape, a general idea to keep in mind is to include features with a wide range of heights and girths. If a site as a tall mega-tower, a few medium sized slides and bridges, and then some spring-riders, balance beams, and twisters at the ground level, chances are the site will have a balanced feel. Catering to a wide range of comfort levels will almost always guarantee balance.
The color scheme is probably going to work no matter what… because it’s a playground for children… so go ahead and match purple with red and yellow or blue with brown and orange. Well, maybe not that extreme—but you could. The best way to have a unified color scheme is to generally have the colors match a natural theme. So blue, green, and yellow might signify nature and then red, orange, and yellow could signify light. Also, having a bright color in the mix somewhere is great for a little kick. To create a balanced playground, keep in mind functionality, shape, and color and go with what seems right.