Ian, Mira and their energetic kids run Melbourne Playgrounds, a huge portal of activities, products and services for Kids in Melbourne! Visit their web site www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au and FaceBook page www.facebook.com/MelbournePlaygrounds
Published May 5th 2012
There are a range of elements which contribute to a great playground design and a Melbourne based company which always scores top marks is Jeavons Landscape Architects. We have found their playgrounds a joy to visit and they provide interesting, fun, educational and exciting experiences for both children and parents. Their thoughtful designs integrate innovative play equipment together with elements such as foliage, furniture and trails.
One of their iconic playgrounds is Bicentennial Park, Scotch Parade, Chelsea. Located around the base of the magnificent centre-piece of two huge mound slides is a Smurf village, Mount Chelsea Express train, Tinkerbelle sand pit, sculptural gardens, giant basket swing and a wide range of other play equipment.
The Smurf Village has a music hut, story hut and a play hut surrounding an area with mooing cow.
The playground is fully fenced with child proof gates and has facilities for a full day of fun such as shelters, tables, water taps and toilets. Parents are catered for with some lovely curved wooden chairs.
The playground is located next to a Skate Park and the area has kilometres of walking trails with links to the Long Beach Trail.
Another magical playground design is Bollygum Adventure Playground in Kinglake. The playground is based around the book 'Bollygum' by Garry Fleming and key elements, locations and characters of the book are captured within the Play Space. There is an area of shady paths and dry creek which has a Bower Bird's nest with its shiny blue trinkets and Platypus's House. Lower down the hill is Wombat's house with superb carved murals on the walls and Frogmouth's House.
There are lovely elements such as fishing poles along the creek and fun musical instruments scattered through out. More traditional equipment is woven in to provide opportunities for climbing, traversing, sliding and swinging.
There are facilities to combine lunch with play such as tables, BBQ, water tap and toilets. Bring along your skateboard or bike because there is a Skate Park next to the playground.
The Roy Dore Reserve in Carrum is another imaginative playground with a huge pirate ship under shade sails. It would be easy for any child to imagine that they are sailing the high seas in search of plunder. The ship has cannons jutting out from the side, cannon balls deposited in the shady sandpit, a plank to walk and plunge to the briny depths and a mermaid figurehead on the bow of the ship.
The playground has a range of facilities including comfy shaded curved seats for parents, shelters with BBQ and table, water tap, double sided tennis wall, toilets and even an exercise area for adults.
Some of our other favourite playgrounds designed by Jeavons Landscape Architects are:
Alma Park East Adventure Playground, Alma Road, St Kilda - has a tree house, unusual structures to explore, a long flying fox and communal swings in a pentagonal shape frame.
Play Structure at Alma Park East Adventure Playground