Why Theme Your Play Space?

Why Theme Your Play Space?
8/9/2017 1:04:27 PM

Fault Safety Surface (poured-in-place rubber)


Keeping a kid’s attention is even harder than having it in the first place. That’s why landscape architects, parks and recreation departments, schools, and municipalities are breaking the mold of traditional playgrounds with creative themes built to battle ever-shrinking attention spans.

For a playground to appeal to kids, it must engage their imagination. It must go beyond the one-dimensional playgrounds of yesterday and add challenging elements of adventure, open-ended play and multi-level activity that builds on previous, easier levels.

Imagine, for example, that you have a medieval theme. From the ground, a child might see a dragon with a saddle perched high above. She’s intrigued and wants to get on and ride, right? Before she does, she has to cross a "moat,” scale a castle wall, and traverse a rickety bridge to the highest turret. This multi-level approach gives kids "goals”—the same kind of goals and "next-level” thinking they encounter in their favorite video and computer games.

Custom play environments encourage role-playing while developing mental and social skills along the way.Themes that have levels of activity and goals which require multiple steps can boost confidence and self-esteem while working out those developing muscles. Balance and strength also increase problem-solving and cognitive skills that can be applied in the classroom.

Themes aren’t just fun—they’re good for the body and mind!

Safety is always a factor in modern playground design, and themed playgrounds are no exception. In this business, creativity and safety are not mutually exclusive. The best playgrounds always implement crucial safety measures without taking away from the playground’s "WOW” factor.

Inclusiveness is another consideration; today’s themed playscapes go beyond ADA standards to make sure kids with mobility impairments or hearing or vision loss are welcome and able to participate fully.

Need some inspiration? Here are some ideas for themed playgrounds:


  • Medieval Castle
  • Outer Space
  • Old West



No Fault Safety Surface (poured-in-place rubber) installed for a space/rocket ship theme.

If it’s a splash pad or if your play area includes water features, these themes are always a hit:


  • Amazon jungle
  • Pirate ship


No Fault Safety Surface (poured-in-place rubber) installed for a pirate ship themed splash pad.


You probably won’t be surprised to learn that some designers specialize in creating these themed play spaces. When you’re considering who to hire for your job, ask a lot of questions and consult your No Fault Sales Manager for advice. Send them pictures that capture the spirit and feel of what you want to build. Make sure you are engaged and involved throughout the design and construction process.

Elaborate designs may come with CAD drawings and 3D models. Communicate your vision and see what the designer can do without overshooting your budget. You may be surprised to find their "think outside the box” creativity can also be applied to cost-savings when it comes down to the construction phase.

Along with the input of your playground’s architects, spend some time studying the pros and cons of the various construction materials available. From concrete,steel, sculpting epoxy, composite wood, GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) and plastic, the options for themed play areas are virtually endless.

What you choose will depend on your budget and the durability of the materials. Just remember—selecting materials that will endure decades of play may cost more up-front, but will deliver the greatest value in the long term.

What No Fault Offers

No Fault Safety Surface (poured-in-place rubber surface) is ideal for themed playground and splash pad areas as it is slip-resistant and safe. No Fault Sport Group installers can create inlaid designs within the rubber surfacing. It also comes in a variety of beautiful colors to make the playground more colorful, fun, and unique.

"With custom color selections, we could easily portray an ocean floor next to a beach,” said one of the commercial aquatics designers we’ve worked with.

The end client expressed his excitement this way: "This far exceeded what I thought we could do. I had no idea that you could have a floor like that on a splash pad. This is going to bring a lot of excitement to this community. That pirate ship is such a ‘WOW’ factor!”

Want to see more? No Fault has worked on the following themed play areas (among many others):




Give No Fault Sport Group a call (toll free) at 800-232-7766 to discuss our rubber surfacing options for your next themed play space or splash pad.

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