What is Play Value?

In the playspace industry “play value” refers to the playful usability of a playground component such as a slide, swing, or play panel. It also refers to the intrinsic value of the entire playspace in terms of entertainment. Play value is the amount and quality of fun that can be created and inspired from a playground and its components. High play value results in high user engagement and participation. At Play KSL, we believe that high play value is one of the most important aspects of a playground, next to that of safety.

Why is Play Value Important?

Play value is important as it increases the use and value of the playground, providing you a better return on investment (ROI). A playgrounds intention should be to intrigue and offer challenges, if they don’t inspire play, they will sit empty and unplayed on.

How Can Play Value be Increased?

There are a variety of ways in which play value can be increased through good design. The ways in which play value is affected and can be increased are as follows:

  • Amount of children which can play on the structure. Play structures which support and allow more children to play increase play value.
  • Inclusive play – Play opportunities for all levels of ability. Check out our page on inclusive play here
  • Continuous play - Play systems that offer a variety of different connected structures increase play value by making play more complex, cyclical or functional linked.
  • Complexity of play - Components which included complex geometric figures and challenging features increase the play value of that component and the play system.
  • Surface - Surfaces that include increased complexity such as designs and are either rough or challenging offer increased play value.
  • Colours – Bright contrasting colours and a variety of bold colours within a play system stimulate the mind, increases creativity and offer better visibility for the visual impaired.
  • Textures - A variety of different textures increase play value by making play more interesting.
  • Sound - Sound increases play value by adding an extra dimension which can be enjoyed by more than one individual.