One of our favourite play quotes is from author Lucia Capacchione, who said “Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good” It’s a fact. Play makes children happier and, therefore, it makes parents happier too. Giving children access to play facilities at any leisure setting, from pub gardens to holiday parks, is likely to lead to more family visits, longer stays and, in turn, more money being brought into and spent at the business.
We speak to our Leisure Settings Expert, Danielle Simmonds, about how offering play facilities can benefit a leisure setting and what they should consider before purchasing new play equipment.
How important is it to offer play facilities for children?
The main benefit of offering a good quality play environment is that it automatically attracts families, and whilst children are entertained, these families are more likely to stay longer and spend more in an establishment. It also provides a talking point for recommendations – there are a number of web forums dedicated just to finding places for families to visit with good play facilities. In addition, if parents have a positive experience visiting with their children, finding that they are engaged in play, safe and having fun, they are more likely to return in the future.
What should operators consider before purchasing play equipment?
Operators should firstly consider what sort of play equipment is most likely to keep children entertained – after all, that’s the purpose of having it in the first place. In addition, operators should think about the target age group of children they would like to attract and choose equipment to suit. The best play areas also create an impact, and will be memorable. Look out for equipment that families will talk about and remember, even better if it also supports your brand, either with colours or features that make it unique to your establishment.
Finally, and equally as important, the practical side of things – does the equipment comply with the relevant safety standards, is the equipment robust and ‘tamper-proof’ and is it cost effective? Does the supplier offer a warranty, and can they advise on any requirements for ongoing maintenance – it is best to consider any ongoing costs or likely replacement costs against the initial purchase price to ensure you are getting the best value for money.
If you’re interested in developing your leisure setting outdoor space, book a consultation and find out how you can boost your revenue playfully!