Any playground that is safe and fun is a winner in our books, but the greatest playgrounds in the world go a step further, doing things like combining art and education with wacky architectural designs. They encourage children to leave their comfort zones and venture into completely new experiences. For this reason, strange and astounding playground designs are often the best places for imaginative play to take place. Here’s our top picks of the most unusual playgrounds from around the world.
Woods of Net in Hakone, Japan
This colourful masterpiece is made to resemble a huge cobweb floating about between trees. The whole of the outer structure is devoid of walls and instead it’s made with piled up wood to blend in with the forest area around it. It really is a stunning blend of inside and outside, colour and shape.
Belleville Park playground, Paris
This park environment was crafted to appeal to the imagination. It could be a huge pirate ship, a flying carpet, or a medieval fort, the possibilities are endless. Both children and adults can enjoy this innovative architectural design and have fun scaling the various levels of the climbing course.
The Large Cod, Vejlebroskolen, Sweden
‘The Large Cod’ playground was designed by Monstrum, who specialise in wacky play area designs. Some of their other creations include ‘An Apple in the Grass’ and ‘The Giant Spider and the Mushrooms’, and they’re just as epic.
Hell’s Kitchen, New York
This gigantic brass man sculpture features a slide as legs, seats for hands and arms a child can shimmy up with ease. The designer, Tom Otterness, is known for intriguing brass sculptures in different locations dotted around the city.
Monster footprints in Shenzhen, China
This playground may be devoid of playground equipment, but its imaginative name encourages children to get creative and make up games while playing on this super-safe rubberized surface. The sunken space and rolling hills of the natural give the play area some really interesting features and make it perfect for ball games.
Sculptural playground in Schulberg, Germany
This continuous climbing structure winds around the park space in a loop, even incorporating existing trees to blend in with its surroundings. Twists and height changes of its frame make the sculpture really exciting for children and there are multiple options for play including swings and trampoline areas.
The Trinidad, Copenhagen
Play areas that are designed exclusively for toddlers do not have to be boring. Monstrum created this playground for 2-5 year olds in the Danish capital, and it’s the perfect place for children to play creatively while practicing their climbing and balancing skills. All while getting to indulge their imagination with a sea-faring theme.