Every day, groups of children are battling aliens, fending off pirates and searching for treasures – all from the safety of an indoor playground. Not only do these cool venues provide hours of fun and some respite for parents, but they provide excellent benefits for their development.
What are the benefits of children using indoor playgrounds? You’re about to find out!
Indoor Playgrounds Explained
An indoor playground is an indoor commercial venue packed with play equipment, usually over multiple levels. The idea of an indoor play venue was born in the 1980s and remains extremely popular in the UK today.
Most indoor playgrounds are used by children to climb, run, crawl through obstacles and have fun with other kids. There are many hidden benefits when children use an indoor playground, which we will come back to later. Most indoor playgrounds include cafes and can be a great place for parents to meet up while the little ones play.
The best indoor playgrounds in the UK will include a soft play zone within the indoor playground. This softer space is used by early years children – and to keep the whole family entertained.
You can now find indoor playgrounds for older children and adults too, such as trampoline parks and Parkour venues.
The Design of Indoor Play Structures
Indoor playgrounds are made up of larger structures, sometimes three or four stories high. These big structures must fit the specifications of the venue they intent o be used in, and as a result, bespoke designs are required. The structure will include different elements that challenge children in various ways. They may include climbing, crawling, balancing, twisting and problem-solving tasks. And modern designs now include interactive features as well!
The structure is made safe using soft padding in key places and mitigating risks by setting challenges at the right difficulty level for target users.
It is common for an indoor playground to create an overall theme, which transpires in the play structure’s design. For example, at House of Play, we have created bespoke designs that look like castles, ships, treehouses, tanks and much more.
The biggest indoor playground venues will use lots of different themes. We have even made a humongous London city design before. You can see some of our work on this page!
What Is the Biggest Indoor Playground?
The biggest indoor playground is located in Sweden. It is called Leo’s Lekland, with Leo being the park’s tiger mascot. It is packed with play equipment suitable for children of all ages and covers 4,500 square metres. The current biggest indoor playground in the UK is in London. Flip Out London in Wandsworth. However, this venue focuses on trampolines and is not suitable for some smaller and younger kids.
What Are the Benefits of Indoor Playgrounds?
The benefits of indoor playgrounds can be split into three categories, namely health, cognitive and social benefits.
1. The Health Benefits
Indoor playgrounds encourage children to be physically active in lots of ways. For children to move throughout an indoor play structure and overcome various challenges, they must execute different compound movements. Their cardiovascular endurance improves, and they develop new moto skills requiring muscular strength.
The child’s overall health and wellbeing are improved through frequent use of indoor playgrounds, and it can go some way to tackling childhood obesity and encouraging healthier lifestyles.
2. The Cognitive Benefits
Indoor play structures demand children to be physically active to overcome obstacles and challenges, but they simultaneously demand that children come up with the best ways to overcome obstacles. This is even more true of indoor playgrounds that include interactive games dotted around the structure. Thus, indoor playgrounds are excellent to develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking and even creativity. And when they succeed, it builds confidence!
3. The Social Benefits
An indoor play venue is a fantastic place for children to make new friends. Don’t be surprised to see a child enter a ball pool and rise to the surface with a couple of new friends – and then go off to explore the rest of the playground together.
Not only will these experiences develop emotional intelligence and social interactions, but they could be one of the earliest experiences of teamwork as they overcome tasks together.
Benefits of Indoor Playgrounds Among Parents
Parents and guardians can also benefit from indoor play venues. They can use them as a way to provide valuable experiences to their children while escaping the house (and the TV!) to meet up with other parents and enjoy a social circle.
Indoor playgrounds have the potential to give parents a well-deserved mental health break and an opportunity to socialise in the on-site café.
So, Is an Indoor Playground a Profitable Business?
Choosing to start an indoor playground business can be a smart idea. The cost of the indoor play structures and equipment can be initially high. But once you have set it up, the equipment is easy to maintain and with good maintenance it can last years, if not decades.
Children will always enjoy playing in these venues, which is why they have remained popular since their inception in the 1980s. Unlike some other businesses that may sell products and services which quickly go out of fashion or become redundant, families will always keep flocking to indoor play venues.
If you can manage the initial costs, these businesses can be extremely profitable.
Where Can You Buy Indoor Playground Equipment?
So, where can you buy indoor playground structures? As these types of businesses are rather niche, there are limited suppliers in the UK that provide a complete service.
House of Play provides a holistic service for anyone wanting to start an indoor playground. You’ll be surprised at how involved we can be to support your new venture.
Read on to learn more.
What Support Is Available from House of Play for Your Indoor Playground?
House of Play can support your new indoor playground business in SIX different ways:
- We are there from the start and can help you look for the right premises and conduct building checks. We’ll even help with planning applications.
- Before you commit, you’ll need to consider your building lease terms to protect your investment. We will also be there to help negotiate your lease terms.
- Our expert designers will then create a bespoke design using high-end software and make adjustments based on your needs and vision.
- We will then install your indoor playground and have independent inspectors validate our handy work.
- We are always on hand to maintain and inspect the equipment’s ongoing condition, and we offer specialised cleaning.
- You’re ready to swing open the doors, but before you do, take advantage of our operational support to get off to a good start. We’ll provide template employment contracts and even inform your staff.
For further information or to request a brochure, get in touch with our experts, soon.