Designing an ideal commercial splash pad

If you’re on the hunt for a thrilling and interactive water play experience, you’ve landed in the right place. Aquatix®, our splash play division, crafts innovative and customized commercial splash pads designed to surpass your expectations. Keep reading to learn more about the advantages of Aquatix splash pads, customization options and their top-of-the-line safety features. Whether you’re designing for a community pool, aquatic center or private water park, commercial splash pads from Aquatix are the perfect enhancement to any recreational space.

The advantages of a splash pad

When it comes to crafting an enjoyable experience for visitors, splash pads are a great addition to any park and recreation space. The installation of a commercial splash pad can bring a multitude of benefits including attracting more visitors. People of all ages are drawn to water play, and a well-constructed splash pad will entice children and families to partake in the cooling and fun activity.

Splash pads also offer low maintenance and operational costs. Unlike conventional pools, splash pads require minimal upkeep and have lower operating expenses. With no standing water, there is no need for lifeguards or extensive cleaning procedures. This translates into cost savings for your community.

Customization options for spray play environments

When it comes to commercial splash pads, customization is vital to creating a one-of-a-kind and engaging play experience. Aquatix offers customization options that allow you to design splash pads that perfectly suit your environment and theme.

One of the main advantages of Aquatix splash pads is the wide range of water features and structures available. From water sprayers and fountains to dumping buckets and water tunnels, the possibilities are endless. Their experts can help you choose the right combination of features to create a dynamic and exciting splash play environment.

Your splash pad designs should also offer interactive elements. Interactive water toys and games encourage children to explore and interact with the water, fostering creativity and imagination. These elements can be customized to fit your specific theme or branding, ensuring a cohesive and visually appealing play space.

Aquatix commercial splash pads are suitable for a variety of locations. No matter your space, Aquatix designers will collaborate with you to create the perfect splash pad design. Your splash pad design can incorporate a theme that tells your facility or community’s story.

Aquatix understands the importance of creating splash pad designs that stand out from the competition. Customization options from Aquatix provide endless possibilities for creating a one-of-a-kind play experience. Contact us today to learn more about how our commercial splash pads can enhance your space and engage children in active and imaginative play.

Safety and sturdiness of splash pads

When it comes to commercial splash pads, safety and sturdiness are of the utmost importance. Aquatix commercial splash pads are built using only the finest materials, carefully selected for their strength and resistance to wear. We believe in providing products that can withstand the test of time, allowing for years of fun and excitement.

When investing in a commercial splash pad, it is essential to choose a product that is long-lasting and resistant to wear. Aquatix splash pads withstand heavy use and the elements, making them a reliable choice for your commercial space. With proper maintenance, our splash pads will continue to provide endless fun for years to come.

Soar into fun with Volo™: Elevating play with imagination and adventure

Volo™

We’re excited to introduce Volo™, the latest in the Smart Play® collection. Volo marks a new era of play that melds adventure, imagination and inclusivity for children aged 5 to 12. These innovative playgrounds are designed to encourage limitless adventure and imaginative exploration in a welcoming, inclusive environment.

Volo reimagines the playground experience. There’s an option for integrated shade. Plus, the design of the play-packed structure invites children of all abilities to discover and tailor their unique play styles. These innovative playgrounds balance high-energy fun with calm exploration, making it a perfect fit for parks, schools and neighborhood play areas.

At the core of Volo’s design is the patent-pending LSI Flexx™. Our revolutionary steel-reinforced cable netting serves as a central hub creating a new model for playground access and inclusion. This innovation connects the inner ring of Volo, offering children a spectrum of play sensations. Kids can find tranquility in lounging or exhilaration in bouncing and climbing. Best of all, Volo promotes a seamless transition across activities for endless engagement and discovery.

With 20 interconnected activities, Volo maximizes play value without compromising space. Elements like slack lines, bridges and hangout spots activate every corner of the play area. We offer a wide variety of carefully selected color palettes for Volo, allowing customers to select one so their playground complements the surrounding environment. Or customers can choose colors that reflect their unique vision.

Experience Volo, and see how this playground design elevates imagination, inclusivity and adventure at playlsi.com/volo. Then contact your local Landscape Structures playground consultant to get started on your Volo playground project today.

Partnering to develop the most innovative playground designs

2024 PLAY Book

Well-designed play brings everyone together. It’s why landscape architects and playground designers are constantly creating wildly original and wondrous kid-centric worlds. Like incorporating moments of landscape play that provide multiple options for a child’s next move, a key strategy for adding play value. Or featuring innovative playground designs that help play spaces blend into—or stand out from—their surroundings.

Thoughtful and imaginative design has always been central to how we work. Creativity is our playground, and getting to explore ideas that boost the wow factor and inspire kids, well that’s how we play. View the virtual publication and request a copy of the 2024 PLAY Book.

To us, innovative playground designs can only function in service to play. It’s a perspective that continues to influence our entire industry. And it’s why we are recognized for building the best playgrounds in the world. And why we appreciate partnering with landscape architects and communities to keep stretching design, and play. Contact your local Landscape Structures playground consultant to get started on your next playground design, and view all of the unique designs of the 2024 PLAY Book in the video below.

The best of 2022

2022 has been an amazing year… filled with great people, designs and products. See the best of 2022 Landscape Structures in the form of our most-read blog posts.

1. Congratulations to Penchura, our 2021 Rep of the Year
Penchura, our playground consultant covering Michigan and Ohio, was chosen as Landscape Structures’ 2021 Rep Organization of the Year.

Best of 2022 Landscape Structures

2. All Together: Design Matters. Play Matters More
We’ll collaborate with you to create a well-designed playground that brings everyone together. Find inspiration in our 2023 PLAY Book.

3. A cost-effective, simple approach to building community splash pads
Our AquaSmart™ Packages are self-contained splash pads that are powered by HydroLogix®, which eliminates the need for costly electrical installation and allows you to install one just about anywhere.

Highland Ridge Park in Delano, Minnesota

4. Delivering adventure with playground towers
The best way to create adventure-filled play experiences for kids of all ages and abilities is to look for playground designs that encourage the progression of the play experience.

5. Welcoming and supporting all with Universal Design
Our design philosophy at Landscape Structures is heavily influenced by the tenets of Universal Design, a theory of design that strives to make environments more usable, safer and healthier for all.

Thank you for tuning in to Together We Play in 2022. We’re looking forward to an exciting year of play; tell us below what you’d like to see more of in 2023 and we’ll do our best to share it here.

Welcoming and supporting all with Universal Design

Our inclusive playground design philosophy at Landscape Structures is heavily influenced by the tenets of Universal Design. It is a theory of design that strives to make environments more usable, safer and healthier for all. This philosophy has been part of our commitment to inclusion since co-founder, Steve King, was appointed to the Federal Access Board’s Recreation Access Advisory Committee in 1993.

Universal Design sets us up for equity, which is a step above equality. ​Equality gives everyone the same treatment whereas equity ensures success and opportunity to all. ​So Universal Design goes beyond providing everyone the access to an even playing field… it delivers a chance to thrive in it.

Universal design simply means that it’s for everyone. Young, old, all levels of ability status, parents with a stroller, individuals that refuse to make two trips carrying the groceries inside… everyone. In theory, it should just be called design.

Our team of designers, engineers and inclusive play experts follow the Seven Principles of Universal Design:

Equitable Use. The design is useful to people with diverse abilities

This is about as many people as possible being able to use a product in a really similar way. This is stuff like poured-in-place surfacing or turf with seamless transitions. People using mobility devices could roll on it as smoothly as non-users could walk on it. The We-Go-Round®, We-Go-Swing® and Sway Fun® glider are examples of playground components that fit this category.

Flexibility in Use. The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities giving users a choice in how they engage each activity

Flexibility in use offers choice to users, and a great example of this is the We-Go-Round. Individuals in wheelchairs can roll on and stay in their chairs or choose to transfer to the seat. They have and choice and can participate in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Other examples include the elevated sand table at different heights and multiple types of playground swings with unitary surfacing paths. It also includes having seating, sinks, hand dryers and adult-sized changing tables throughout the space, catering to various body heights and types for flexible comfort.

Simple and Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills or current concentration level

If an individual sees a drum, they know what to do with it. If they see the OmniSpin® Spinner, they know where to push it to make it go. It doesn’t cause stress or complications trying to figure it out. There is a desire to provide challenge to kids within a play space, but if the intent of the component is to spin, they should be able to figure that out quickly.

Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities

Symbol communication signs are a great tool to help all users communicate effectively while visiting parks and playgrounds. If there’s information people need to know or be able to communicate, it falls under this category. Lots of words are often used to communicate “no eating,” and can easily be understood with a little circle crossing out food. It’s a more universal method of communication that more people can understand. Additionally, using color contrast and textures provide cues on changes in elevation, alert individuals to busier areas and much more.

Tolerance for Error. The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions

With this design principal, planners discuss boundary fencing as a way to keep kids safe and contained on the playground. Another example is incorporating barriers on a commercial playground structure to reduce the chances of a child falling off it. Additionally, mixed safety surfacing like engineered wood fiber (EWF) combined with rubber should be well-maintained to prevent hazardous drop-offs. When accommodating wheelchairs under play equipment, ensure that the surfacing extends beneath the front wheels to prevent tipping forward.

Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably

Anything that keeps user more comfortable for longer, is considered low physical effort. Commercial shade structures, and gradual, low grade are two big topics to consider. Additionally, consider swing seat choices as well as those for the ZipKrooz®. With the Molded Bucket Seat the kids that fatigue more quickly can still get that zooming sensation, but in a less-demanding reclined position.

Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space are provided for approach, reach, manipulation and use regardless of user’s body size, posture or mobility

This principal gives people the chance to move around comfortably. A standard 36-inch wide sidewalk leaves no room for movement alongside a 26-inch wide wheelchair. Wider paths benefit not only wheelchair users, but also those with service dogs, canes, or someone deaf or hard of hearing. The same theory goes for double-wide ramps and activity panels on the playground. Is there room for someone to push up to and play with it? Or if a wheelchair user is engaging with something, is there enough room for others to get around the chair?

Through Universal Design, we increase access, safety, comfort and social participation within all our play environments. This process creates a strong foundation for inclusive playground design that ultimately results in a place where all can play, learn and grow together. Learn more about our commitment to inclusive play at playlsi.com, or by contacting your local playground consultant.

A cost-effective, simple approach to building community splash pads

If you’re looking for ready-to-install splash pad designs, look no further than AquaSmart Splash Pad Packages. HydroLogix® powers these self-contained splash pads, eliminating the need for costly electrical installation and enabling you to install one just about anywhere.

AquaSmart splash pad packages are the right size for smaller pocket parks, childcare facilities and compact urban areas. Add one adjacent to a playground or even alongside a larger splash pad. Kids will love being in control of the action; just a push of the button and the entire splash pad comes to life. The low-flow, low-water option offered by HydroLogix greatly reduces water consumption while still providing plenty of opportunities for splashtastic play.

See all of the AquaSmart Packages—Package A through Package H.

The HydroLogix Activation Bollard starts the AquaSmart splash pad packages with the push of a button
HydroLogix Activation Bollard

Best of all, the HydroLogix system is now available as an alternate mechanical system. Include the HydroLogix system in splash pad designs for a cost-effective and simple approach to installing a community splash pad Learn more about the patented HydroLogix system, and contact your local Aquatix consultant today.

Introducing endless thrills with Revi™ Products

We’re excited to introduce the Revi™ products, which includes the ReviRock™ Bouncer, ReviWheel™ Spinner and ReviWhirl™ Spinner. Each of the Revi playground equipment products, explained below, were created using a single sculptural form to deliver three different and thrilling play experiences.

The ReviRock Bouncer for ages 2 to 12 position on a large center spring bounces and rocks in all directions.

Designed for ages 5 to 12, the center wheel of the ReviWheel Spinner allows kids to spin themselves around and around.

Deliver an adventure in physics for kids ages 5 to 12 with the the ReviWhirl Spinner by offering spinning through perpetual motion or a push from the outside.

The Revi playground equipment products were designed with inclusion in mind. All three products are designed at transfer height, offer multiple ways to hang on, and provide plenty of room for kids of all abilities to lay down, sit, kneel or stand as they experiment with the motion. Even more, the ReviWheel and ReviWhirl spinners include a proprietary dynamic speed control to keep spinning at a fun yet controllable speed.

Adding freestanding play components is a great way to expand existing play spaces and freshen up the play experience. Placing one or all the Revi products together with other freestanding spinners, the ZipKrooz® or a selection of playground swings creates a play zone filled with thrilling experiences great for kids of all ages and abilities.

See the new Revi products in action and learn more about each one at playlsi.com/revi-play/.

Army veteran brings the benefits of play to people of all abilities

In the U.S., we don’t always grasp that most of us will experience aging and varying abilities. The design of our public spaces often reflects that lack of understanding. Not everyone can easily navigate and use these spaces, including the veterans who serve our country and return home with a disability or change in ability.

Ingrid Kanics

However, there are bold minds who do consider the full range of ability in our society—and how we can build environments where everyone thrives. Army veteran Ingrid Kanics is one of these people.

Ingrid uses the World Health Organization’s definition of disability: “the interaction between individuals with a health condition and personal and environmental factors (e.g. negative attitudes, inaccessible transportation and public buildings, and limited social supports).”

In other words, disability is not an individual’s problem—it’s about how they are supported as they engage with the world. Ingrid helps people of all ages and abilities transcend barriers and build healthier lives by creating inclusive indoor and outdoor spaces where everyone can play.

The founder and owner of Kanics Inclusive Design Services, LLC, Ingrid is a powerhouse who combines a wide range of personal experiences and interests: a Master of Occupational Therapy and Master of Interior Architecture; a deep understanding of sensory play; a never-waning sense of wonder and curiosity.

At 29, however, Ingrid was on a different path, joining the Army with plans to train as a physical therapist and help soldiers rehabilitate. Everything changed when she sustained a profound injury to her spinal cord during basic training.

After emergency surgery and 18 months in rehab, Ingrid learned to walk again, but when she shifted her professional focus to occupational therapy, she truly found her stride. She decided to go “bimobile,” using a wheelchair part-time to manage her energy more efficiently. She became more active and started playing sports again.

During this time, Ingrid was working in maintenance at a sensory integration clinic. As she cleaned and organized the clinic, she got to know the children and families in treatment and developed a deep empathy for them. Her conversations and observations helped build a foundation for her future.

Ingrid earned her first master’s and worked with Pittsburgh’s Center for Creative Play before founding her consulting business in 2010. One of her first consultant roles came with Landscape Structures.

We-Go-Swing™

On projects with Landscape Structures, Ingrid collaborates throughout the product development process with everyone from engineers to the sales team. She prioritizes several factors. First, are they meeting an unfilled need? Before the team developed the We-Go Swing™, for example, there were extremely limited swing options that allow children and adults of all abilities to join and actively contribute to the play experience.

She also considers inclusivity and how products support different populations. In her occupational therapy role, Ingrid has worked with kids with a variety of health conditions and sensory needs. She thinks about how each kid would benefit from a new product, along with other kids of varying abilities, with a consistent goal of creating inclusive play spaces where kids of all abilities can interact face-to-face.

At Landscape Structures, Ingrid has been involved from the ground up with what she calls the “We” Collection, which includes the We-Go-Swing as well as an inclusive see-saw (the We-Saw™) that is easier to access and offers space in the middle for kids who want less movement. It also includes the We-Go-Round™, a modern take on a merry-go-round, that has room for kids and adults using mobility devices and allows them to help support motion.

All three elements are about cooperation, socialization and working together to have fun. And, all allow parents, grandparents and other adults with disabilities to play with their children. That’s important to Ingrid, who’s always thinking about Wounded Warriors who come home and want to remain vital members of their communities. Her life and experiences give her a firsthand understanding of the desire to stay involved and the vitality we all have to offer—and her work helps people live more fully, one play experience at a time.

Tap into Ingrid’s experiences and expertise! She’s available to present sessions about inclusion, inclusive play space design, multigenerational design and evidence-based playground design to your community or organization. Browse our education offerings, and schedule one today.

Deliver maximum impact with Quantis™

Quantis™ A.3

Meet the newest members of the Quantis™ family of net climbers! Quantis™ A.2 + Quantis A.3 deliver an open format playscape for kids ages 5 to 12, which encourages them to navigate to the Oodle® seat at the structure’s core, balance across the SwiggleKnots™ Bridge or tackle the overhead netting and molecular-style belting. Best of all, the preconfigured, ADA-compliant Quantis playground net climbers are loaded with dynamic play in a compact design.

Quantis™ A.2

In addition to the new Quantis playground designs mentioned above, we have pulled together a sampling of design ideas and custom concepts. You’ll find the original Quantis playground design, Quantis 8.1, which delivers net climbers, belting, swings, gliders and so much more for an infinite play experience. A variety of net structure concepts, tower structure concepts, topography concepts and nature-inspired concepts are sure to help inspire your upcoming playground projects. Browse all the custom concepts here.

When you’re ready to get started on your playground design or want more custom playground ideas, contact your local Landscape Structures playground consultant.

Celebrating Sensory Awareness Month 2020

The disruption of the coronavirus pandemic has been tough on everyone including kids. As children safely resume outdoor play, each child will experience the playground differently. For kids with sensory processing challenges—5 to 16% of school-aged children—regulating their bodies and emotions through play is especially critical.

For Sensory Awareness Month, which is in October, we’re sharing the importance of creating inclusive playground environments.

According to Virginia Spielmann, executive director at the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, for many kids with sensory processing difficulties, a traditional playground doesn’t offer the same opportunities to master physical challenges, gain social confidence or hone fine motor skills.

To highly sensitive children, the intense experiences of a playground like the spin of a merry-go-round or the tussle of kids on the monkey bars can feel like an assault on their senses. In other cases, children may seek out external stimulation.

“Kids may react strongly and with enthusiasm to this external stimuli, or they may retreat,” explained Spielmann. “And often, they can’t match the motor skills of other children, which makes them feel even more different and isolated—especially on a traditional playground.”

The right play equipment can make all the difference. And today’s thoughtfully designed playgrounds have evolved into places that foster all-sensory experiences for every child.

At Landscape Structures, our product and playground designers are educated and interested in how kids with special needs experience the world, which informs their approach and designs—and makes an enormous difference in the final product.

That insight translates to subtle equipment details in materials, shapes, movement or orientation. For example, a playstructure with built-in tactile elements invites children to explore a variety of textures and shapes and helps them to integrate multiple tactile experiences.

We can also design playstructures to offer a variety of interactive panels in a variety of positions—including musical or auditory components. Our inclusive playgrounds also incorporate quiet, cozy spaces where overstimulated kids can go for a calming escape to regain their equilibrium and recharge.

There are many other ways that playground design can invite children of all abilities to play, explore and learn with confidence. Learn more about designing inclusive playgrounds to meet the needs of your community at playlsi.com. And learn more about sensory processing and how to help spread awareness for it at spdstar.org.