Playscape // Outdoor spaces for little explorers
3D Design of Lifewise Childcare Centre in Massey // Playscape Design

The Process

We understand that core curriculum activities need to be permanently available, yet integrated into a natural environment. Playscape can create a framework that encourages children to play freely, allowing them to explore and use their imaginations in safe surroundings.

The Playscape team will work with major stakeholders to initiate a custom design solution for your site. We adapt our design to respect your centre's individuality and cultural needs.

Our approach to design begins with you. We come to your childcare centre and listen to what you want. Our goal is to then present to you a concept that will exceed everything you're looking for. Whether it's working on an existing site or starting from a blank canvas, large or small, we can create the dream play space for you.

No matter what stage of the process you're at, it's best to get in contact with us as soon as possible. Being in communication from the beginning allows us to see your overall vision and assess where costs can be saved, making sure its done right, from the beginning.

We recommend having an edible component within your design and can cater to your needs with our Playscape Edible programme. Whether you choose to have just a few vege boxes, or your entire playscape filled with edibles, we can create a design to suit. Learn more about Playscape Edible »


There are a number of features to consider when designing outdoor spaces for young children, all of which are important when viewed as a whole:


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Are you tired of trying to get sand back into your sandpit?

Sandpits are a fundamental part of any early childcare playground; they provide a great communal space for groups of children to play together. They encourage active outdoor play with endless opportunities for imaginative play.

Sand ending up outside the sandpit is inevitable. The key is to make it easy to tidy up. Sand outside of sandpits is usually a result of childrens' construction above ground level.

Good planning will reduce clean up times and the ongoing cost of replenishing the lost sand.

Sandpits // Playscape Design

Water Play

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Are you using water to its full potential?

We provide solutions to make water play permanently accessible and that are integrated into your playscape.

Water is essential to sand play. Linking the two helps contain these activities and allows children to manage these themselves.

Natural features within your water play area evoke connections to our native environment. Water play compliments every playscape concept.

Water Play // Playscape Design

Adventure Play Areas & Play Equipment

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Is your moveable equipment dominating your playground?

Providing children with opportunities for adventurous play is essential to combat boredom whilst building strength and confidence.

Building natural challenges into the playground's infrastructure prevents clutter and provides a softer look to the playground as a whole. Opening up soft fall areas and using moveable equipment periodically helps prevents boredom.

Fixed play equipment must be adaptable, allowing constant reinvention and opportunities for the childrens' imaginations to create new and exciting games.

Adventure Play Areas & Play Equipment // Playscape Design


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Do you need storage solutions to keep your playground tidy, yet still looking great?

Playground storage is important for keeping the area tidy so children can play freely and safely whilst looking good for first impressions. Big sheds can be unsightly and often have to be accommodated away from the main centres of play.

Having appropriate storage solutions in the right areas helps to encourage children to tidy up as they play.

Storage // Playscape Design

Soft Fall

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Is your soft fall the right choice for your centre?

Soft fall areas are often the largest part of a playground. The materials used can differ greatly depending on their requirements and the style of playground.

Artificial turf or matting may suit one playground, where others are seeking a more natural look. Depending on fall heights, a lawn may be sufficient rather than a cushion fall product.

With all of these products there are cost implications with regard to installation, maintenance and replacement.

Soft Fall // Playscape Design

Edible Gardens

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Do your children know where their fruit and vegetables come from?

Learning to grow fruit and vegetables is an essential life skill every child needs. And New Zealand has the perfect temperate climate to make growing easy. By including an edible component in your Playscape, your centre can help children understand where their food comes from and how to make healthy choices. Playscape Edible has programmes to accommodate every centre's requirements regardless of knowledge or location. Learn more about Playscape Edible »

Edible Gardens // Playscape Design

Themed Play Areas

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Want to give your children a sense of belonging or adventure?

We include themed play areas specific to your communities wants and needs. For example, if you have a large Pacifica presence we'll install Fale's, Bure's and Whare's scaled down to little explorer size. Our surrounding plantings are carefully selected to replicate the colours and scents of 'home' while able to withstand their environment. Even Mum and Dad may be tempted to join in the fun!

Themed Play Areas // Playscape Design

Nature Spaces

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Soft landscaping areas like lawns, gardens and fruit and vegetable patches can provide a welcoming and positive impact when considering first impressions.

We take into consideration your centre's philosophies and uniqueness when selecting plants to enhance your Playscape. Our plants all have stories and are chosen to not only look great but help children create lifelong memories. Whether it's a particular scent when they arrive each day, the observation of native birds or insects attracted to the plant, or a taste sensation as they bite into it ... our plants will cover it.

The challenge is to maximise your playscape by integrating safe and stimulating play features within green spaces, whilst also sustaining an easy care, clean and visually appealing environment.

Nature Spaces // Playscape Design

Playscape Cohesion

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Does the overall look of your playscape reflect the values of your centre?

A playground works best when all the elements within it compliment one another creating a space feeling natural and cohesive whilst being easy to manage, maintain and enjoy.

Playscape Cohesion // Playscape Design