A Playground for All Ages
If you’re thinking about creating a family entertainment center in your community, you might be wondering which age groups you should focus on. The truth is, usually, playgrounds that offer play for all ages are by far the most popular.
Let’s take a closer look at why playgrounds that offer play for all ages are so much more popular and how you can create an experience that will appeal to toddlers to teens.
Families Often Have a Broad Age Range
It’s not as common to have large families these days, but there are still many families that have kids ranging from toddlers to teens. There are also many blended families that might have kids of all ages ranging from babies to adults and everything in between.
There are even some families out there where the oldest children have children of their own, while the youngest are still toddlers.
With so many diverse families out there, it’s no surprise that everyone is looking for activities and entertainment that appeals to kids of all ages – and parents!
Facilities that offer play for all ages will appeal to families that have a broad range of kids to keep entertained.
Our Time Is Limited
Another key reason why indoor playgrounds and family entertainment centers offer to play for all ages is that our time is so much more limited these days.
There might have been a time when you could drop some of your kids off at the mall, others at a friend’s house and take one or two to a playground, but with work, family and other modern-day commitments, that’s not really feasible anymore.
Family entertainment centers that offer play for all ages, from toddlers to teens, give busy parents a convenient way to entertain all their children in one place. Most even have Wi-Fi, too, so you could catch up on your emails or listen to an audiobook while you’re there too! That’s the modern definition of multi-tasking if you ask us!
How to Create a Multi-Age Entertainment Center
Now that you know why so many families seek out family entertainment centers, its’ time to look at how you can create that in your own facility. Let’s look at some clever ways you can create a venue that offers something for kids of all ages.
Create Play Zones
The best way to make sure your indoor playground has a broad age group appeal is to design it in zones that are tailored to specific age groups.
You could have a soft play area for babies and toddlers, a larger and more challenging area for older kids, and another for tweens and pre-teens.
By including age-appropriate equipment for all age groups, you will make the space safe, fun and entertaining for everyone who visits.
Add Games and Rides
Another great way to ensure that your indoor playground or family entertainment center has broad appeal is to ensure that you have something for older kids and teens to do. Video games, games of skill and indoor rides are all great options to appeal to this age group.
A space for games and rides can also increase the revenue for indoor playground businesses, as it’s another separate income stream.
Don’t Forget Parents!
If you want to create an indoor play space that appeals to the whole family, you need to look further than toddlers to teens and remember the parents.
Many parents will spend some time in the play area with their children – particularly if they have younger children or children with special needs. However, most parents are quite happy to let their children run, climb and play while they watch from a safe distance.
Make sure that there’s comfortable seating for parents and other caregivers somewhere in your indoor playground. Offering free Wi-Fi is another big factor that will attract parents to your venue over others. Being able to catch up on social media or emails gives parents something to do while their children are working off steam!
Provide Family Friendly Amenities
Sometimes, the little details that aren’t part of the fun make all the difference.
Often, parents who visit indoor playgrounds with older children also have younger babies or infants that they need to care for while they’re there.
Providing family-friendly amenities like a changing table, family washroom options, or a quiet room for feeding babies is a great way to make sure your facility is as family-friendly as possible.
Offer Special Time Slots
If you research most of the family entertainment centers in your area, you will probably find that they get most of their business during school breaks and on weekends. Some might see some after-school activity, but they’re usually very quiet and almost deserted on weekday mornings. Evenings might also be quieter when families head home for dinner.
Another great way to build a business that is designed for play for all ages is to host special preschool or toddler mornings for younger kids and their moms.
Likewise, you could host tween and teen evenings, where older kids can visit your entertainment center for pizza and game nights or something similar.
It’s worth remembering that even if you build an age-inclusive facility, you don’t always have to have all ages in the building!
Don’t Forget Accessibility
So far, we’ve covered a few reasons that fun knows no age and how you can incorporate that idea into your indoor playground design and business. However, it’s essential to remember that fun also knows no ability.
Many families these days have a member who has mental or physical challenges. If your facility has special amenities and features that let them enjoy the space along with their siblings and friends too, you will have an even broader appeal.
Ensure that your building is accessible too and that you have bathrooms, seating and other facilities that can accommodate people who have disabilities. That applies not only to kids but also to parents. We live in a very diverse world, and there are all kinds of families out there!
Reflect Your Community
Perhaps the best advice for anyone who is trying to create an indoor play space that works for kids of all ages and their families is to spend some time watching your community. Pay close attention to what most of the families in your area look like. Do they have a broad range of ages, or are the kids in your area closer together in age?
Look at the geography around the premises you’ll be using. What kind of schools are nearby? Are there any other entertainment options for specific age groups?
You can even ask people in the community to share which age groups they would most like to see catered for in your facility. All of these things will help you to reflect your community in the space you create, and that will almost guarantee that your indoor playground will be a huge success.
Choose the Right Theme
Themed indoor playgrounds are always fun, but they can make creating a play space with broad appeal a little trickier. While younger kids might appreciate race cars or dinosaurs, older kids might prefer something else.
It’s a good idea to look at commercial playground equipment catalogs to see what’s available or to speak to playground equipment manufacturers to get an idea of what they have done in the past.
Some themes, like islands, space or gardens, can be adapted to suit a variety of age groups, which makes them good universal choices.
Add a Refreshment Stand
Over the years, we’ve found that our clients who have family entertainment centers that are completely self-contained, including food and beverages, are the ones that tend to be most popular with families.
Busy families want to have a “one-stop” experience, where they can get everything for everyone in one place. So offering a range of healthy snacks and popular treats works well. Make sure you have something for kids of all ages – from toddlers to teens – by including options like milk and easy-to-hold options like chicken fingers alongside the pizza and soda!
Most parents will appreciate having coffee available too, and it might give them the energy to keep up with their kids!
We’re Happy to Help!
Even if you understand why indoor playgrounds that offer play for all ages are a good idea, and you’ve read the tips we’ve provided here, designing a facility like this can still be a daunting task.
There are just so many options, from themes to play structure components to murals and more, that go into building a family entertainment area.
We understand because we’ve been helping people to do it for many years.
If you’d like to get inside information about what works best for indoor playgrounds for toddlers to teens, contact the Indoor Playgrounds International team. We’re always happy to help with design advice, providing options or answering questions.
We truly believe that fun knows no age too, and we build that into every playground we manufacture!