What to Include in Your Perfect Indoor Family Play Area

Indoor children’s play areas have become a popular addition to a range of family-friendly businesses in recent years. From shopping malls and family restaurants to gyms and fitness centers, airport waiting areas, hotels and resorts, rec centers, libraries, and more, indoor play areas offer a valuable service for families looking to keep their children entertained and engaged. These centers provide a safe and stimulating environment where children can play, learn and socialize, while parents can relax, catch up on work, or simply enjoy some downtime.

Indoor play centers offer an excellent business opportunity for entrepreneurs who are passionate about providing much-needed service to families in their community while generating profit. By offering a fun and safe space for families to enjoy, indoor play centers can enhance the overall experience of their host business and create a loyal customer base.

Here are tips for creating the perfect family indoor play area for any size of space or type of business.

1. Plan the Size of Your Space

Determine the amount of space you have available and how you want to divide it up. Consider including separate zones for different age groups, such as a toddler area and a separate section for older kids.

A play area could be located in a small room off of your main business area, such as in a gym or community center, or in the center of a food court in a larger business like a mall or airport. Let’s look at some examples of what this might look like.

Play Rooms

Playrooms can make great use of vacant store space in a retail location.

Stand-alone Play Areas

Stand-alone play centers are self-contained. Great for hallways or wide open spaces.

Small Play Structures

A smaller fort may be all you need for the space you have available, but it will inspire big imaginations all the same.

Yellow and grey camper themed kids play house.
Rec Center Play Room

2. Safety First

Once you have a space, safety should be a top priority when designing an indoor play area.

One of the most important aspects of creating a safe indoor play area is selecting the right type of flooring. Soft and cushioned flooring is ideal, as it provides a soft landing surface for children who may trip or fall during play. This type of flooring helps to reduce the impact of falls, minimizing the risk of serious injury.

In addition to selecting the right type of flooring, installing safety gates can also help to prevent accidents and injuries. Safety gates can be used to restrict access to certain areas of the play area to different age groups, such as keeping toddlers out of areas meant for older children.

Using age-appropriate toys and equipment is another important consideration when designing an indoor play area. Toys and equipment that are designed for older children may not be safe for toddlers and can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Make sure to carefully consider the age range of the children who will be using the play area, and choose toys and equipment that are appropriate for their developmental level. We’ll get into more detail about the types of equipment in a moment.

Don’t Forget the Rules

A list of rules for parents and children to follow will also help maintain safety.

Your play area rules could include:

  1. Parental Supervision: Children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times while in the play area.
  2. Age Limits: Clearly state age limits for different areas or equipment within the play area to ensure that younger children are not playing on equipment designed for older children.
  3. No Roughhousing: Running, pushing, and other rough play should be prohibited to prevent injuries to children and damage to equipment.
  4. No Food or Drinks: Eating and drinking should not be allowed in the play area to prevent spills and potential choking hazards.
  5. No Shoes: Shoes should be removed before entering the play area to prevent dirt and debris from being tracked in and to reduce the risk of slipping and falling.
  6. No Sick Children: Children who are sick or have a contagious illness should not be allowed to use the play area to prevent the spread of germs to other children.
  7. No Bullying or Harassment: Bullying or harassment of other children should not be tolerated and will result in immediate removal from the play area.
  8. Clean Up: Children should be encouraged to clean up after themselves and return any toys or equipment to their proper place after use.

3. Pick a Theme

Having a theme helps create a cohesive and professional look to your play area, plus it is great for branding and advertising.

Your theme can be based on fun colors. It can be an out-of-this-world space or fantasy adventure. If you’re located in a coastal mountain town or a desert city, you can use your local flora and fauna to inspire you.

For example, the Westshore Town Centre shopping mall takes its name to heart, with a selection of shoreline-themed play structures including a climbable soft play bear catching a salmon, a whale tail slide, a lighthouse with a wheel that spins the light, plus so much more. This centerpiece play area reflects the brand of the mall along with the local landmarks guests are familiar with.

4. Choose a Variety of Age-Appropriate Activities

Select activities that are suitable for the ages of the children who will be using the play area. For example, a toddler area could include soft play mats, low-height slides, and ride-on toys, while an older kids’ zone could include climbing walls, ball pits, and interactive video games.

Hands-on Play

Hands-on play is great for younger kids as it helps develop fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, and social skills as children interact with others. Hands-on play options could include Keebee playboards, sensory tables like bead maze tables or magnetic activity tables, large puzzles, building blocks, and coloring areas with markers and crayons.

Woodland rock game wall with Keebee play boards and video games.
Woodland rock game wall with Keebee play boards for toddlers.
A seaplane that allows kids to turn the wheel and use their imagination.
Giant foam play blocks.

Interactive play inspires imagination!

Soft Play

“Soft play” sculptures are typically made from high-density foam that is covered with a durable, waterproof vinyl material. This makes them safe for children to crawl on, climb over, and play with, while also being easy to clean and maintain.

Soft play sculptures come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including characters, slides, tunnels, vehicles, and more. They can be customized to fit any theme or color scheme, making them a popular choice for indoor play areas, daycare centers, and other children’s facilities.

Soft play foam sculpture slide with a goat sitting on a mountain side.
Soft play foam sculpture slide with a goat sitting on a mountainside.

Because soft play sculptures are soft and squishy, they are less likely to cause injury than traditional play equipment made from hard materials like metal or plastic. They can also be used to create obstacle courses and other interactive play experiences that promote physical activity and imaginative play.

Contemporary style, woodland-themed wall murals with deer, birds and squirrels.
A mall play area filled with soft play sculptures for children to interact with.


Slides are a popular and fun form of active play for children of all ages, and even adults can enjoy them. Sliding down a slide can provide a sense of thrill and excitement, as well as help to develop physical skills such as balance, coordination, and gross motor skills. And they’re just plain fun!

Yellow slide on a pirate ship themed play structure

Ball Pits

Playing in a ball pit provides a tactile and sensory-rich experience, which can be beneficial for children with sensory processing difficulties. The feeling of sinking into a pit filled with soft, squishy balls can be calming and regulating. Let’s not forget that a ball pit is simply a fun and enjoyable experience for children. It can provide a break from structured activities and offer a chance to dive in and laugh to their heart’s content.

Climbing Structures and Ropes

If your facility has the capability and space to incorporate climbing structures, tunnels, and rope courses, these can offer an exciting and engaging way for children to develop essential gross motor skills such as coordination, balance, and strength. Not only do climbing structures provide a safe environment for children to take risks and explore their limits, but they also foster the development of confidence and self-esteem as they navigate through the structures under supervision.

Video Games

While some parents may go to play areas to avoid digital stimulation, adding video games to an indoor play area for children can provide a number of benefits and can engage kids of different ages.

As technology continues to play an increasingly important role in daily life, offering video games in a play area can provide children with a chance to become familiar with and comfortable using technology in a safe and supervised setting. Many video games require players to use hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills, which can help develop these skills in children.

Kids playing on wall mounted gaming tablets.

Offering video games alongside other play options like climbing structures, ball pits, and sports activities can provide a generous range of play activities for children and keep them entertained for longer periods.

If you want the best of both worlds, a great alternative is floor-projected video games. These games encourage active participation by inviting children to jump and stomp on animated bugs, balls, and lily pads that are projected onto the floor.

An underwater themed reception area with a sculpted cave featuring a floor projected video game for kids.
An underwater themed play area featuring a floor-projected video game for kids.

TVs and Theater

While adding a TV to a play area can provide entertainment for children, it may not offer the same developmental benefits as active play options. However, it could be a viable addition to a play area depending on the needs of the business and the interests of the children. If children are tired from play but not ready to leave yet, it provides a quiet alternative for those taking a break.

Photo Op Characters and Backdrops

Parents are all about capturing fun and special moments with their children as they play. Providing the perfect photo opportunity for them is a bonus for parents and an even bigger bonus for your social media.

Parents who take and share photos of a fun day at your play park are creating valuable user-generated content that helps promote your fun services. Include your name, your logo, or even encourage the use of a hashtag to make the best use of this content.


5. Consider These Useful Additions for Your Play Area

Add Signs for Wayfinding and Instructions

An important part of any play area is letting people know you have it, where to find it, and how to use it (like the rules sign mentioned earlier). Signs can come in a variety of shapes and styles, from 2D to 3D.

Signs can also include your logo, hours of operation, and other useful information, like where the bathroom is located.

Keep it All Clean with a Shoe Rack

Adding a shoe rack outside your children’s play area can have several benefits:

  1. Keeping the play area clean: Children can bring dirt, mud, or other debris on their shoes when they enter the play area. By having a shoe rack outside the play area, you can encourage them to take off their shoes and leave them outside, which can help keep the play area clean and safe for children.
  2. Preventing slips and falls: Wet or muddy shoes can make the floor slippery, which can increase the risk of slips and falls. By leaving shoes outside, you can prevent these accidents from happening and keep your children safe.
  3. Encouraging organization: A shoe rack outside the play area can encourage children to take responsibility for their belongings and keep them organized. It can also make it easier for them to find their shoes when they need them.

Provide Comfortable Seating for Parents

Make sure to include comfortable seating for parents or caregivers to relax while the children play. Consider adding tables and chairs for snacks or drinks. If food is not allowed near the play area, consider adding a seating area nearby where the play area can still be observed.

Providing seating areas can create a social atmosphere for parents and caregivers to interact with one another. This can lead to new friendships and a sense of community.

Plan for Stroller Parking

Families with children of all ages will want to come to your play area. Make it as convenient as possible for them by providing a space for them to store their bulky strollers.

Providing a designated space for stroller storage can help eliminate any potential hazards or clutter that may disrupt the play area. Having a safe and easily accessible place to store strollers also makes it more convenient for families with young children, as they won’t have to worry about maneuvering a bulky stroller through a crowded play area.

The Perfect Indoor Family Play Area

The benefits these play areas can offer parents and kids alike make them invaluable. Now that you have this information in mind, why not consider creating one at your own location? With this list you should be on your way to making an amazing play area for children in any business or location. So don’t hesitate, let the kids go play!

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Don’t know where to start with creating your indoor playground? One of our Creative Consultants would love to help. Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your facility from a mundane to a magical guest experience.



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Signs, signs, everywhere a sign!

Signs are a very important part of your visitor experience. They let people know  ‘where am I?’, ‘where is my destination?’ and ‘how do I get from here to there?’.

Wayfinding signage is an essential aspect of any business or facility, and it goes beyond just guiding people from one place to another. It is a critical component in creating an organic guest experience that makes visitors feel comfortable and confident in your space. Effective wayfinding signage provides clear and accurate information about the layout and features of the space, from restrooms and exits to amenities and services.

We’re going to focus on child-friendly signage and how to help

While wayfinding signage is not meant to advertise or promote, it does play a vital role in portraying a positive company image and strengthening your brand. It helps visitors to navigate your space with ease, making their experience more enjoyable and memorable.

We’re going to dive into images from the IDS archives and take a look at different types of signs, their purpose, and let you know why they are so important to creating a great environment for children.

7 Types of Signs You Should Use in Your Family-friendly Business

There are many different types of wayfinding signage that can be used to help people find their way: identification, informational, directional, and regulatory. Some of these signs can be more fun and interactive than others. Let’s take a look at some great examples of fun signage that will appeal to children and their families.

1. Welcome Signs

Welcome guests to your office in the most obvious way… with a giant welcome sign! Welcome signs are a type of wayfinding signage that is specifically designed to greet and orient visitors to a business. They create a positive first impression and help visitors feel more at ease when they arrive at your business.

A well-designed welcome sign can communicate important messages about the business’s brand, such as its personality, values, and the products or services it offers. This can help to establish a brand identity that customers can connect with.

Logo Welcome Signs

You don’t have to say the word ‘welcome’ when inviting guests in – welcome guests with confirmation that they are in the right location with a big bold sign showing your name or logo.

2. Directional Signage

Wayfinding signs can help visitors orient themselves and find their way around your business, reducing the risk of them getting lost or feeling frustrated. They will also feel empowered as they will be able to find what they are looking for without having to ask for assistance.

Overall, directional signs are an essential element of wayfinding in a business, helping customers to navigate the space and enhancing their experience. By providing clear directions, saving time, enhancing the customer experience, and establishing brand identity, directional signs can play a crucial role in a business’s success.

Bathroom Signage

Every sign can be themed. Bright, bold colors make these bathroom signs stand out and catch people’s attention.

Instead of traditional bathroom signage, use playful language, silly characters, or puns to make the signs more fun and lighthearted. This appeals to children and will leave a good impression on their parents.

Room and Chair Designations

While wayfinding encompasses many different aspects of navigation, helping people find their intended chair or treatment room is a key component.

To ensure your dental office signage is effective for all age groups, it’s important to consider the needs and abilities of each demographic. For example, if you work with young patients in a pediatric environment, it’s likely that they won’t be able to read a written sign. In such cases, incorporating easily recognizable characters or imagery can be an effective way to help children navigate the space. For instance, the “hippo room” and “zebra room” names may be difficult for a child to read, but associating them with the corresponding animal characters can make it easy for them to identify the rooms at a glance. By considering the needs of different age groups and incorporating visual cues, you can create signage that is both functional and engaging for all patients.

By helping visitors navigate your business more easily and feel more comfortable, navigational signs can contribute to overall customer satisfaction.

3. Label Signs

The importance of clear and concise signage cannot be overstated. In the examples below, visitors will know exactly what each station is used for and if it is for them to use.

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4. Monument Exterior Signs

Monument exterior signs are large, freestanding signs. These signs are often located at the entrance to a property, or along a busy road or highway. Monument exterior signs are highly visible and can help draw attention to your business, especially from people driving by or passing by on foot.

A well-designed monument exterior sign can help establish your business as a fun, friendly place catering to children and families.

5. Pylon Street Signs

Functioning similarly to a monument sign but towering hiiigh above traffic, a pylon sign is an excellent way to create a high-impact billboard for your business. By utilizing a tall structure, a pylon sign can be seen from a greater distance, making it an effective tool for attracting new customers and promoting your brand.

Pylon signs are often located near highways or other high-traffic areas, making them an ideal choice for businesses that want to increase their visibility and stand out from the competition. With eye-catching graphics and clear messaging, a pylon sign can be a powerful marketing tool that helps to increase brand recognition and drive sales.


6. Building Signage

By incorporating big, bold, and 3D exterior signage on their building, businesses can increase their visibility and effectively convey the type of experience customers can expect inside.

Colorful characters can also be added to building signage to make the sign visually engaging and interesting, catching the attention of passersby. Everyone will know your business is meant for kids with this winning combination of colors, characters, and fun!

Such signage can also help your business stand out from the competition and make a memorable impression on potential customers. By investing in attention-grabbing signage, businesses can increase foot traffic and ultimately drive sales.

7. Fun and Educational Signs and Graphics

Signs and graphics are not only informative but can also be educational and fun for children. This is especially true in children’s museums, where signs and displays are designed to teach young visitors about a variety of topics in a visually engaging way.

Colorful and interactive signs with graphics and illustrations can help children retain information better and make the learning experience more enjoyable. Use this technique in your dental office for a fun and engaging experience.

Infographic signs use visual elements, such as charts, diagrams, and icons, to convey information in a clear, but approachable, way. Infographics can be used to provide patients with information about how to maintain good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing techniques, and the importance of regular check-ups.

Overall, signs play an important role in helping customers and children navigate through your family-friendly business and communicate important information about your fun brand. Have fun with your wayfinding and make your business the first choice for families in your community!

Want some amazing child-friendly signage of your own? Connect with one of our Creative Consultants today to learn how you can get your own unforgettable wayfinding experience!

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Tips for Creating a Presentation Area in Your Children’s Library

A library’s presentation area is a great space to engage with your community and draw attention to your library. Having exciting decor in a library’s interior area can be a great way to appeal to kids and families. Kids will be excited to attend events and visit the library knowing that it has a space built for them.

Here are ways you can enhance your presentation area and leave an impression on your visitors.

Select Your Space

When selecting a space in your children’s library that can be dedicated to presentations, there are several factors to consider to ensure it is appropriate and functional for the purpose.

Firstly, it is important to choose a space that is easily accessible to visitors, especially families with young children where stroller parking space is a factor to consider. Consider a location that is on the main floor, near the entrance, or in an area with high traffic. This will help to increase visibility and encourage visitors to use the presentation area.

Secondly, the space should be visible from various parts of the library. Choose a location that is visible from the circulation desk or other busy areas, such as the children’s section. This will help to promote the use of the presentation area and ensure that visitors know where to go for events and activities.

Thirdly, the space should be large enough to accommodate groups of children and their caregivers comfortably. Consider the average size of groups attending events, and ensure there is enough seating and floor space to accommodate them.

Finally, consider the acoustics of the space. Make sure that it is quiet enough for presenters to be heard without distraction, while also ensuring that it is not too quiet that it dampens the energy of the events.

Seating for Everyone

It’s important to choose seating options that are comfortable for children and their caregivers. Plan for all ages, from toddlers to grandparents. Floor cushions, bean bags, and kid-sized chairs are great options for children, while adult-sized chairs or benches are suitable for caregivers. You may also want to consider providing some tables for children to use for drawing or other activities during events.

The seating arrangement should be designed to allow for optimal viewing and participation. Consider a semi-circle or U-shaped seating arrangement, which allows for good visibility and participation for all attendees.

Adding a small stage or podium can create a focal point for presenters and make the presentation area feel more professional. A podium or stage can also make it easier for presenters to be heard and seen by the audience, especially if the space is large or if there are distractions from other library activities.

By considering the seating and layout of the presentation area, you can create a comfortable and engaging space that will encourage children to participate in literacy activities and events and promote a love of reading.

Add Multimedia Equipment

Adding multimedia equipment to a presentation area in a children’s library can greatly enhance the experience for attendees and presenters. Equip the area with multimedia tools such as a projector, screen, TV, and sound system equipped with a microphone, so that presenters can easily share visual aids, videos, or music with the audience.

If you can, add lighting or a spotlight to draw attention to your presenter.

By equipping the presentation area with multimedia tools, the library can create a more professional and polished environment for events and activities. This can help to attract high-quality presenters and improve the overall reputation of the library.

Decorate the Space

Make the presentation area visually appealing and inviting for children by adding colorful artwork and murals.

Creative Backdrops Set the Scene

Consider using creative backdrops within your decor to really set the scene at your presentation area. Depending on the atmosphere that your library is going for, you can have anything from abstract, contemporary art to fun and whimsical pieces on your interior walls.

theater themed selfie stage in pediatric dentist office

These unique pieces can also create fun backgrounds for photos that you or your visitors can use on social media when not in use.

Create Wonder in Your Library Presentation Area with a Theme

Consider choosing a theme that reflects the library’s mission or focus, such as nature, animals, or a specific literary genre. This can help to create a cohesive and visually appealing space that ties in with the library’s overall brand. Theming is also a great way to immerse your guests and keep them engaged during presentations.

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Themes can include having a woodland forest theme and surrounding your guests with the beauty of trees and the natural environment, allowing them to stay connected to nature indoors.

Or transport children under the sea with a sunken ship presentation area with sharks and fish eagerly watching the speaker.

Having a unique theme and characters that come with it can create a central landmark for your space and help focus attention on your little ones. These spaces can also be talking points for your presentees to help break the ice with their audience.

There are many ways that a library can add exciting, themed decor to its presentation area to appeal to kids and families. Creative backdrops, unique murals, and creating wonder are great ways to begin crafting the environment that you and your visitors will enjoy. With unique environments and themed spaces, your library will be filled with eager visitors and, even better, eager readers.

Engage with the Community

Ultimately if you want to build an amazing presentation area in your library, you need to engage the community. People are what makes your library a success!

Involve local schools, community groups, and parent organizations in the presentation area’s activities to build partnerships and strengthen community engagement. Plan regular events and activities, such as author visits, book clubs, storytelling sessions, or craft workshops, that can take place in the presentation area. Make sure to promote these events through your library’s website, social media, and other marketing channels.

By following these steps, you can create a presentation area in your children’s library that promotes literacy, engages young readers, and fosters a love of learning.

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Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your library into a place that captures everyone’s attention!



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Creating a Sense of Fun and Nostalgia for The Next Generation of Kids


The wistful yearning to return to a magical moment from your youth.

In recent years, there has been a sad trend of kid-centric places disappearing from public life. From the beloved McDonald’s Playplaces of the 80s and 90s to local ice cream shops and arcades, these spaces filled with fun characters, friendly mascots, play areas, and bright colors have been replaced with more mature establishments.

Places for Kids
Mascots for Kids

This grey washing of our public spaces may result in a generation that could be devoid of fun nostalgia as they look back on the places they visited in their youth. But what if we could bring back this sense of nostalgia; bring back color, bring back fun?

The Benefits of Fun Places for Kids

Millennials’ memories of play places in their childhood will influence how they view your business today. With decor aimed at children, parents will seek to take their children to your location to recreate those magical memories. While McDonald’s attempted to shift its focus away from children to avoid criticism for selling unhealthy food to them, many other companies that can embrace their child-friendly image. Examples include community libraries, children’s ministries, family hair salons, pediatric dental clinics, and mall play areas, which can enhance their appeal to families by incorporating child-focused decor.

Fun places for kids not only create a sense of nostalgia but also provide other benefits to both children and adults. These include increased physical activity, improved social skills and confidence, and strengthened bonds between parent/caregiver and child.

Creating Kid-Centric Spaces with Theming & Bright Colors

To create these much-needed kid-centric spaces, businesses should look at introducing theming, colors, and mascot characters into their establishments.

You can turn any business into a kid-friendly space with:

Creating Memories
Noah’s Ark Children’s Ministry Reception Area
Bayou Play Area
Full view of jungle-themed kid-friendly hair salon showing partition walls with 2D murals, a washing station with 3D sculpted sign, and large waiting area bench wrapped around a 3D sculpted waterfall and characters
Kid-friendly Hair Salon
Insect Mall Play Area

Even small changes can make a big difference – something as simple as introducing bright colors or adding a character can create an instant connection with kids while still appealing to adults.

Mushroom Library Reading Area

Compare those examples to what happened to Mcdonald’s. Great for adults, but not inviting for the imagination of children.

I don’t remember kids asking to take the fun away and replace it with beige.

By creating kid-friendly environments that are inviting, businesses will be able to capture the hearts (and wallets) of parents while also giving kids their own special place to hang out and have fun.

Become a Place of Nostalgia

While it’s true that many kid-centric places have disappeared from our lives over the past few decades, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to bring them back. By introducing theming and color into our commercial spaces – big or small – we can recapture some of the fun nostalgia of childhood for the new generation while providing significant benefits for all involved.

It’s time to bring back the fun!

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4 Ways a Roadside Attraction Can Benefit Your City or Town

With the lasting effects of the pandemic on the tourism industry, it is more important than ever to find ways to attract visitors to your town. However, competing with big cities and their many venues of entertainment can make it difficult to keep up.

But what if there was a way to draw in tourists and locals alike? What if you could create something that would make people want to seek out your town? What if you could get on the map?

There is a way, and that is by creating and promoting a roadside attraction! Have you seen the movie National Lampoon’s Vacation? If you have, then you remember Chevy Chase promising his family that they will soon see the world’s second-largest ball of twine. The movie is fiction, but roadside attractions like that are real and do in fact increase tourism.

An attraction can be something like a “World’s Largest…”, a historic site, or a photo op for families to pose with.

By having a roadside attraction within your town, you are creating a focal point for your town’s marketing efforts. A roadside attraction can create buzz around your city, improve your online platform’s performance, develop your town’s economy, and solidify your town’s identity amongst the people.

4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Roadside Attraction in Your Town

1. Attractions Create Buzz and Conversations That Increase Tourism

Having a roadside attraction gives a reason for tourists to not miss your town.

With tourists already on the road and wanting to venture through the country, a roadside attraction can be another destination they’ll add to the list of places to stop. How often can one say they’ve seen a 40ft gorilla, a giant pierogi, or the “World’s Largest Wagon Wheel and Pick Axe”? These are just a few examples of large-scale landmarks that can be found across America.

Giant pines cones at the center of town.

If you’re curious to see more examples of large-scale landmarks created by IDS, click here.

Hearing about these unique landmarks can create buzz and entice tourists to stop by your town. Not to mention that you are providing your tourists with a unique conversation starter that they can share with family, friends, or even other travelers on their journey. This word of mouth can create organic traffic for travelers to come to visit your town, and once they do, you’ll be able to showcase the local businesses and culture that your town is known for.

By having a roadside attraction, you are also giving opportunity for your town’s economy to grow, more on that later.

Bonus Tip: Get Listed in Directories

There are directories, from Wikipedia to travel websites, that list must-see attractions, including those places with “The World’s Largest” sculptures that make it easy for travelers to plan road trips. Making sure your community is listed on these directories is an easy way to get attention.

2. Attractions Create an Organic Social Media Tool for Your Town

Nowadays, posting on social media is key to growing awareness for anything, whether it be businesses, people, cities, or towns. Having a unique landmark that can only be found in your area can provide a memorable photo opportunity for tourists to use and post on social media. This in turn can become an organic way for your town to market itself and grow its online presence. You can even encourage visitors to use a hashtag to help keep track of any photos posted on social media.

Think of the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building. You most likely didn’t have to google where you can find those landmarks because their symbol is so closely tied to that city. Especially with today’s social media climate, all it takes is one photo of your attraction to go viral and draw the attention of potential visitors.

If you’re really eager about how to maximize the photo potential of your roadside attraction, you can provide fun, personalized photos of your tourists when they come to visit your location – think of photos that they provide at theme parks, national parks, and gift shops.

Family posing in the grip of a giant gorilla photo opportunity character.

3. Attractions Help Develop Your Town’s Economy

As mentioned earlier, having a roadside attraction can help boost your town’s economy. An influx of tourism means an influx of money into your local economy.

A landmark acts as a stepping stone for your town. Drawing people into your community helps to share the spotlight from the attraction to local businesses. Hidden gems can be found in many communities and having an attraction can help uncover them. Travelers will be spending money on food, lodging, souvenirs, and attractions while they visit your town.

Check out this great example of photo op bench characters. This pair of dating dinosaurs in downtown Drumheller, Alberta (known as Gus and his girlfriend to locals) are located at 2 separate bus stops on opposite ends of the street, prompting visitors to take a stroll through the main street and see all the other stores and restaurants along the way.

Beyond increasing the activity at local businesses, the attraction itself can create job opportunities for local residents, from management and maintenance to customer service and sales positions.

If you want to take your town’s development one step further, you can provide memorabilia based around your landmark. Think of keychains, magnets, t-shirts, hats, and more. The possibilities are endless. Your landmark will be a feature that can’t be found anywhere else, tourists will love to take a little memento back home or to give to a loved one.

The world’s largest dinosaur has been an iconic feature of Alberta since 1999.

Seeing this landmark not only in its main location but throughout your town can help build and solidify your town’s identity.

4. Attractions Solidify Your Town’s Identity and Boosts Community Pride

We’ve talked a lot about the marketing and economic potential that having a roadside attraction can provide, but a roadside attraction can also benefit the individual members of your community as well. This is because your landmark can become a unifying symbol that represents your town.

It’s easy for people living in small towns or rural areas to feel disconnected from the rest of the world; having a unique piece of art or landmark can give them something tangible that they can point to with pride and say “This is ours!” As word spreads about your town’s one-of-a-kind creation, more and more locals may flock to check it out as well —especially if it’s free!

The local 4H club posing with their community’s attraction.
Even pets can get in on the action.

You may be worried about how to decide on a piece for your town, a simple solution would be to provide a public survey of what your citizens want to be represented with and go with the majority. Having a brand new attraction for your town can help jumpstart excitement within the community and become a talking point for social events and gatherings.

Are You Ready to Boost Your Tourism Power with a Roadside Attraction?

Roadside attractions have been around for decades but have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ability to attract tourists from near and far. Investing in one could potentially bring numerous benefits to your town including increased tourism, economic development, social media growth, and community pride.

Why not give people a reason to seek you out? Give them an adventure by creating a giant sculpture or artwork as a roadside attraction!

One of our Creative Consultants would love to help. Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started creating your special attraction.

If you thought this article was interesting, watch this incredible landmark whale sculpture come to life in Texas:



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The Secret to Attracting Young Families to Your Shopping Center

6 Types of Roadside Attractions That Will Get You Noticed

Recession-proofing Your Dental Business Marketing Strategy in 2023

Attract Families to Your Church with Decor for Kids

Churches today are competing for the attention of young families, so it is important that they create a welcoming atmosphere that appeals to children. The good news is that you can attract more families to your congregation by adding child-friendly decor that can turn your location into a destination.

Here’s how using child-friendly church decor like play areas, colorful murals, custom seating, and sculpted characters can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for your congregation.

How to Attract Families to Your Church with Decor for Kids

Colorful Murals in Children’s Areas:

Vivid colors and cheerful images can instantly brighten up any church space. Consider adorning the walls of your church with colorful cartoons or murals depicting stories from the Bible or other religious teachings.

Not only will these images bring life to the rooms and hallways of your Sunday school or church nursery, but they’ll also provide children with an immersive learning experience as they explore each scene depicted in the artwork.

These murals can be placed within classrooms or hallways leading up to the sanctuary.

Have a large wall, windows, or fence outside your church? A large-scale mural with bright colors and uplifting messages can help set the tone for both old and new members when they enter your church.

An exterior window decal featuring a cartoon jungle scene with gorillas, monkeys, and tigers.
An exterior window decal featuring a cartoon jungle scene with gorillas, monkeys, and tigers.

Activity and Play Areas for Children:

One way to attract families with young children is by providing an entertaining play area where kids can gather and be engaged in activities during services. You could set up toys, games, and kid-sized furniture for them to enjoy while their parents attend services or classes. This will help grow your children’s knowledge of faith while playfully entertaining them.

Sunday School classroom with woodland murals.
Backyard themed game wall.
Pirate ship kids fort with a custom planked dividing wall accompanied by an underwater themed mural on interior walls
Sunken ship play area.
play tent with slide and medieval elephant guard in kids play area
Tent play area with a slide.

Additionally, if you have special services dedicated solely to children, having a play area can help make those times more enjoyable and memorable. Simple additions such as coloring books or puzzles can be effective when it comes to keeping kids entertained while they wait for service. This not only helps the kids but gives parents a piece of mind knowing that their kids are safe and having fun.

Theater and Presentation Areas:

Show families that you are dedicated to educating their children. A special space to watch informative videos (I still remember the excitement of watching Veggie Tales in my childhood) or listen to presenters is a great way to keep the attention of young children.

theater themed selfie stage in pediatric dentist office

Don’t just leave it up to the adults though! A theater or presentation area can be a space where children can express themselves creatively through drama, singing, dancing, and other performing arts. By participating in theater productions and presentations, children can build confidence and develop their public speaking skills, which can serve them well when they are sharing the Word with friends and families.

Custom Seating Made for Kids:

Custom seating specifically crafted for children can create comfy spots for them during services or classes. These seats don’t have to be expensive—even brightly colored bean bags or cushions would work perfectly!

By providing custom seating, your young patrons will feel included, comfortable, and secure knowing that they themselves have their own special spot during service.

Circular rock cladded stools with vinyl cushions.
Cladded underwater themed bench.

These custom seats can be themed to match bible stories to give your kids a more immersive experience when they attend mass. These seats can also be placed around your church to surprise newcomers and share the family-friendly environment throughout.

Sculptures and Characters:

Sculpted characters are a surefire way to be whimsical in any space! Whether it’s characters from bible stories or even just friendly animals that reflect your local wildlife, placing sculptures around your church will help make it more inviting for younger members of your congregation.

Are they reading about Daniel and the lion’s den?

Even better, these characters can act as great social media photo ops, helping to spread awareness of your church online.

Photo op for customers to promote your business on social media.
Photo op to promote your inviting church environment on social media.

Have an open space or a plain parking lot? Consider having a large landmark sculpture outside your church. These large-scale features can draw attention to your church and become memorable.

Giant sculpted whale landmark character on roof of pediatric dental office.
Don’t get swallowed by this giant sculpted whale landmark character!

What Do Successful Churches Have in Common?

All successful churches have something in common — they recognize that creating an atmosphere of comfort and familiarity is essential when trying to attract new members.

By adding child-friendly decor, you’ll make your church stand out and also provide a welcoming space for your children to feel excited about the important lessons presented in every church service. This kind of atmosphere makes all the difference when it comes to growing your congregation — so why not give it a try?

Want to learn more about transforming your church into a sanctuary for children? Click here.



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What to Include in Your Perfect Indoor Family Play Area

Tips for Creating a Presentation Area in Your Children’s Library

Creating a Sense of Fun and Nostalgia for The Next Generation of Kids

Improve the Experience of Pediatric Therapy Patients with Fun Decor

Children who need therapy, whether OT, PT, ST, or ABA therapy, often face a unique challenge. The journey of learning and recovery can be emotional, tiring, and at times, daunting to children who may not understand the outcome of their treatment. As a healthcare professional providing therapy to pediatric patients, it is important to keep their spirits up and make sure that they are comfortable in your environment.

One way to improve your patient’s experience is by creating fun and functional decor in your therapy space that will engage children while also helping them heal.

Patient consult with mother and daughter.

We will discuss the types of decor you can add to your space and how you can use this kid-centric decor to improve the therapy patient experience.

How to Improve the Experience of Pediatric Therapy Patients with Fun Decor

Using Colorful Wall Art to Transform a Space

Wall decor is the perfect solution for therapy spaces that require ample room for activities. By adorning your walls with eye-catching art, you can transform a bland space into an immersive environment that sparks joy and distracts from any anxieties.

The walls of your therapy space should be colorful, inviting, and reflective of your brand identity. When children enter the room, they should feel immediately at ease and excited to engage in therapy sessions. That’s why selecting wall art that reflects your brand is crucial. Whether you want to create a calming and relaxing environment or a space for fun and play, your wall decor can help you achieve that goal.

Smaller window graphic panels provide fun wall decor as well.

Fun wall colors and graphics are a great place to start. Take it to the next level with murals featuring exciting themes and landscapes. Colorful murals and graphics have been found to greatly enhance the patient experience at therapy clinics and pediatric therapy centers. For kids in particular, a theme can make a kid’s stay much less daunting. It can provide a visual escape from the task at hand and create an inviting atmosphere that feels safe.

Using Fun Furniture & Accessories to Create an Engaging Space

Pediatric therapy clinics can be intimidating for children, but by incorporating fun and comfortable furniture, such as bean bag chairs, colorful rugs, playful seating options, or even swings, you can help them feel more relaxed and comfortable in the space.

A variety of seating options.

Other accessories such as toys, puzzles, or games can add more fun elements into the mix while also providing opportunities for therapeutic learning activities during sessions. Children may feel anxious or stressed during therapy sessions, but by incorporating engaging accessories, you can help distract them from any discomfort or fear they may be experiencing.

Play-based therapy is an effective approach for children, and by incorporating playful furniture and accessories, you can encourage play and exploration, which can lead to better therapeutic outcomes.

Functional but fun furniture like shoe racks, bookshelves, and storage seating is a great way to add some exciting decor without taking away from therapy space.

A fantastical shoe rack.

To learn more about custom furniture pieces, click here.

Finally, adding plants into the mix helps create an even more engaging atmosphere. By adding natural elements to the decor, it greatly contributes to improving indoor air quality which helps boost moods further. Even creating an outdoor therapy area where kids can be outside in fresh air with trees can take your clinic to the next level.

Creating Comfort Through Accessible Design & Layout

When it comes to pediatric therapy, creating a welcoming and comfortable environment is essential for your patient’s success. A key aspect of achieving this is ensuring that all furniture pieces are easily accessible for children of all ages and abilities. Sharp edges and overly tall furniture can be intimidating and uncomfortable for young patients, so it’s crucial to choose pieces that are safe and inviting. By designing a space that feels like it’s made for them, not adults, children will feel more at ease and engaged in their therapy sessions.

A well-thought-out layout will also provide secure circulation paths throughout treatment rooms so every child can move around with ease, without feeling trapped or closed off.

Additionally, using accessible signage with pictures and colors can also make navigating the space easier for children who may have difficulty reading.

Wayfinding sign that reads "Hippo Room".

We, as adults often forget what it’s like to experience a space as a child. If you approach designing therapy spaces with the mindset of a child, you may be surprised at how much more welcoming and accommodating you can make it feel. By prioritizing elements like accessibility, comfort, and fun, you can create a pediatric therapy environment that encourages play, engagement, and positive therapeutic outcomes.

Whether it’s selecting furniture that’s the right size and shape for small bodies, or adding playful decor that sparks joy and curiosity, every detail counts. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can transform your therapy space into a place where children feel safe, supported, and excited to learn and grow.

Environment Has a Big Impact on Children’s Patient Experience

The first impression your pediatric therapy clinic makes can set the tone for your patients’ entire experience. By creating a kid-centric environment with fun yet functional decor, you can instantly create an inviting and comfortable atmosphere that primes your patients for their therapy sessions. With the right decor, you can create a space that encourages play and exploration, making it easier for children to connect with their therapists and achieve positive therapeutic outcomes.

Mawish Baber, the operations director at the Andalusia Clinics for Kids Wellness has this to say about adding colorful themed decor to their clinic and therapy spaces:

“The kids love the theming. The kids that visit us have started referring to the clinic as “The Fun Center” cementing our desire to make this a place of wellness and development, not a place they are forced to visit.”

Interested to learn more? Check out these related resources for upgrading, renewing, and improving patient experience:

Practical Guide to Creating an Exceptional Patient Experience

Pediatric Therapy Facility Decor Inspiration

What is Patient Experience and Why Does It Matter?

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to a magical patient experience.



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What to Include in Your Perfect Indoor Family Play Area

Tips for Creating a Presentation Area in Your Children’s Library

Creating a Sense of Fun and Nostalgia for The Next Generation of Kids

The Secret to Attracting Young Families to Your Shopping Center

How do you attract families with children to your mall when online shopping and services like Skip the Dishes make it so easy to stay home? You need to make your mall a destination for young families! The secret ingredient to attracting families is adding a fun indoor play area to your mall.

Play areas are not just fun for kids; they have a number of benefits that can help extend the length of shopping trips, increase foot traffic into your mall, and enhance customer satisfaction. From boosting sales to drawing in new shoppers, the advantages of investing in play areas are clear.

Continue to read on and find out how this one addition can make an impact at your mall!

Play Areas Ensure Your Mall Provides Entertainment for Shoppers of All Ages

Not every kid loves going to the mall to buy new shoes for school or watch mom and dad look at new phone cases. Nothing will ruin a shopping trip faster than a grumpy, fussy child who wants to go home.

Adding a play area can help keep kids entertained during shopping trips, making for a more pleasant and stress-free shopping experience for the whole family. Play areas can range from simple activity rooms full of toys and books to indoor playgrounds featuring slides, tunnels, and mazes. Whether a family is looking for a quiet video game or an energy-burning run-around, they’re sure to find something enjoyable for their little ones.

A stand-alone play structure.
A walled-in activity area.
A room filled with activities for children.

By creating welcoming spaces for children, families can spend more time in your establishment and potentially even make additional purchases. Furthermore, creating a positive experience for families can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations, ultimately boosting your business’s reputation and success. Incorporating a play area can transform an ordinary shopping trip into a fun-filled family outing that everyone can look forward to.

Kids will ask to come back again and stay longer!

Mall Play Areas Create Convenience for Your Shoppers

One of the most significant advantages of mall play areas is the convenience they offer to busy parents. By providing a one-stop shop for all their shopping needs, including clothing, food, toys, and entertainment for their kids, parents can easily tackle their to-do list without having to leave the mall.

Additionally, mall play areas provide an opportunity for families to capture precious memories with adorable photo ops of their happy children playing and having fun. This added convenience and entertainment can make a day out at the mall a memorable and enjoyable experience for the whole family.

By creating a space that caters to the needs of busy families, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can lead to increased sales and success.


Indoor Play Areas Aren’t Weather Dependant

Too cold to play outside? Too rainy and mucky to go to a playground? Too hot and muggy to run around? No problem!

When outdoor conditions are less than ideal, an indoor play area at the mall can be a savior for parents looking for a fun and safe place for their children to burn off some energy.

An indoor playground not only provides parents with a much-needed break from the confines of their homes during inclement weather, but it can also serve as a unique draw to attract families to your facility during times when they may not have initially planned to visit the mall. By offering an enjoyable and safe environment for children to play, businesses can entice families to spend more time and money at their facility while simultaneously providing a valuable service that addresses the needs of busy parents.

This added incentive can help increase foot traffic, generate buzz, and ultimately lead to increased customer loyalty and revenue. Speaking of foot traffic…

Mall Play Areas Increase Foot Traffic Throughout Your Shopping Center

Play areas in malls are becoming increasingly popular as a way to draw in more foot traffic, while also providing families with an enjoyable shopping experience. These exciting destinations can create lasting family memories as well as boost sales at the mall when parents decide to treat their children afterward.

With many large shopping centers focusing on creating cohesive entertainment districts, having play spaces is a great way to appeal to customers of all ages. Play areas are also a great solution for parents looking for ways to manage their children’s energy levels during long shopping trips.

With a fun place for kids to stretch their legs, the whole family can shop together in comfort and convenience. Play areas are thus beneficial for both malls and shoppers – providing an efficient way for malls to increase foot traffic and stimulate more sales.

Play Areas Opportunities for Family Events

A dedicated kids’ area in a mall presents a unique opportunity to create special family events centered around the space. From grand opening parties to special family day events featuring mascots and guest speakers, the possibilities for planning and promoting engaging family-friendly events are endless. By leveraging the appeal of the kids’ area, businesses can create a fun and welcoming atmosphere that encourages families to spend more time and money at their facility.

Anna and Elsa are special guests in this woodland play area.

These special events can be a great way to build brand awareness, generate positive word-of-mouth, and foster a sense of community among shoppers. Ultimately, by incorporating special family day events into their marketing strategy, businesses can attract and retain loyal customers while providing an unforgettable experience for families.

Mall Play Areas Help Build Your Shopping Center’s Brand

Shopping centers could significantly enhance their positive branding by creating indoor play areas. Play areas, including special activity rooms with bead puzzle tables for toddlers and indoor playgrounds with slides for older kids, promote a safe, fun, family-friendly atmosphere. The presence of a child-centric play area can also attract businesses catering to families, who are more likely to rent space adjacent to such a facility. By offering a comprehensive and family-friendly shopping experience, malls with play areas can differentiate themselves from competitors and establish themselves as a go-to destination for families and like-minded businesses.

Not only this, but those adorable photos that parents take of their children playing and having a good time are amazing organic marketing on their own. Branded photo ops and mall signage included in play areas can appear across social media as parents share their day with family and friends.

Mother taking a photo of daughter in a divers suit themed photo opportunity.
Mall logo visible on an airplane play structure.

Play Areas Create a Sense of Community

Play areas in malls offer an optimistic way to build community and strengthen local relationships between shoppers. Parents, particularly those who work remotely or dedicate themselves to raising their children at home, may experience feelings of confinement due to isolation and a sense of being overwhelmed by the constant need to keep their children entertained.

Time to get out of the house…

Having a safe and reliable location where they can plan get-togethers with their friends to have a coffee while watching their kids play together can be a great escape from the routine. Play areas are great spaces for families and friends to connect and come together.

Furthermore, the presence of play areas within shopping centers can prove advantageous to mall management as it offers community members a desirable activity to anticipate while shopping, resulting in unparalleled engagement and patron loyalty. An essential element of stimulation can be incorporated into your guest experience beyond the conventional shopping experience, allowing for enhanced social interaction amidst the everyday commotion of retail consumerism.

Play Areas Provide Educational Opportunities

Play areas are not just a fun outing for families and their children, they can also be a great way to provide learning opportunities. Both the mall and parents can play a very important role in providing educational experiences within the safety of an indoor playground or activity room at a local shopping center.

Play areas can help children develop problem-solving strategies, develop social awareness and communication skills, recognize cause-and-effect relationships, build self-esteem and confidence, as well as learn conflict-resolution techniques. Not to mention the impact on physical development. Parents will love to take advantage of these educational opportunities to provide an engaging and fun experience for their children while taking part in family outings.

The Secret is Out

Whether it be by creating entertaining and educational experiences for young visitors or providing the opportunity to shop for both parents and businesses, having an indoor playground is a great way to attract families to your shopping center.

All patrons of your mall can reap the benefits of having a play area. Parents, business owners, mall investors, and many others all have the potential to have a positive experience simply by implementing an indoor play environment.

Interested in building a play area for your space? Click here to take your first step toward a great decision.

Want some more inspiration for creating a play area in your shopping center? Check out this great list with tips for building the perfect indoor play area.



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What to Include in Your Perfect Indoor Family Play Area

Tips for Creating a Presentation Area in Your Children’s Library

4 Ways a Roadside Attraction Can Benefit Your City or Town

Unique Design and Decor Ideas for Children’s Libraries

Libraries are important places where children and their families can come to learn and explore.

As libraries struggle to remain a competitive alternative to various forms of digital entertainment, the need to create an inviting atmosphere that encourages exploration and learning grows every day. With clever decor ideas, you can create a space that is both inviting and unique. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can add fun decor to your library to make it more appealing to families and children.

Plus, you can use this opportunity to create eye-catching presentation areas for guest speakers and photo opportunities that promote your library on social media.

Decor Ideas to Help Transform Your Library into a Family-friendly Destination

Use Sculpted Trees to Create Interest

When I was little, my local library had a sculpture of a tree growing up the spiral staircase going between floors. The weekly visit to the library was a magical memorable childhood experience as I loved running up the stairs and looking at the tree. Even now as an adult when I return home for family gatherings, I will revisit that library to remember the delight I had as a child.

Trees are a symbol of wisdom, which is why they are so often associated with libraries (that and the fact that books are of course made out of trees). Using this imagery and adding sculpted trees to your space is another great way to spruce up your library. Choose trees that are native to your area or ones that represent something special about your community such as state symbols or local landmarks.

A children’s play area sculpted to look like a famous cypress tree in Louisiana, known as “The Castle” by locals.

A sculpted tree can become a backdrop to a presentation area or bench seating can be added to make it functional.

Use them as a focal point for a presentation area or have them grow throughout your space.
Bench seating built into the base makes this tree multifunctional.

These trees will help create an atmosphere of adventure and exploration while also providing a place for people to sit, read, or just relax in nature’s beauty without having to leave the library.


Themed Reception and Check-out Desks

A library’s information desk is often the first thing that patrons see when they enter the building, so it’s important to make it as welcoming and visually appealing as possible. One way to do this is to create an eye-catching, themed desk that reflects the library’s mission or the interests of its patrons.

For example, if the library serves a community with a strong interest in nature and the outdoors, a desk with a nature-themed design could be particularly appealing.

A desk can show guests that books will take them on a journey, whether it’s around the world or an escape into a fantasy world.

An eye-catching, themed check-out desk can help to create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere in the library, and it can also be a great conversation starter. Patrons who are drawn in by the unique design of the check-out desk may be more likely to engage with library staff and ask about the library’s services and resources.

Ultimately, a well-designed, themed check-out desk can be integral to creating a welcoming and engaging environment for patrons, and it can help to support the library’s overall mission of serving and supporting its community.

Fun Photo Opportunities

One particularly effective way to engage with your patrons (plus create user-generated content for your socials) is to set up a photo op at the library. This can be as simple as setting up a backdrop or props related to a particular theme and then inviting patrons to take photos and share them on social media using a designated hashtag.

Consider creating a mascot for your library. This is a great way to brand your library as a child-friendly place. Mascots create major benefits for marketing potential and for making your business appeal to children.

This library in a fossil-rich area uses a prehistoric mastodon as their mascot.

Fun characters are begging to be photographed, and parents are always looking for an opportunity to show off the great time they are having on an outing with their family.

Unique Seating in Library Reading Areas

Custom seating is a great way to make your library stand out from others. You can choose from cozy chairs with colorful cushions or opt for more stylish couches and ottomans. This will make it easier for people to find the perfect spot to sit with their favorite book or get comfortable while they work on their laptops.

For children’s libraries, consider adding bean bags or soft floor pillows in bright colors to encourage kids to curl up on the floor with their favorite books.

Go further and add themed benches or stools for a magical touch that will truly appeal to children. Themed seating allows you to transform your atmosphere without taking away space that can be used for books.

You can also add themed seating to areas used as a presentation or reading space for guest speakers to create a special place that stands out from the rest of the library.

Bright Colors to Make Your Library Pop

Using vibrant colors throughout your library is one of the best ways to bring life into the space. Add color via paint, murals, fabrics, furniture pieces, sculptures, and more!

Murals are an amazing way to transform the look of a room, especially in a children’s reading area. Create a mural theme around a genre of book, like a children’s area themed around old fairy tales.

Brightly colored walls or ceilings are also a great way to surprise visitors when they enter your library!

Library Design & Decor Matters

Creating unique decor ideas for libraries is not only possible but easy when you think outside of the box!

By adding custom seating options with colorful cushions as well as sculpted trees and fun colors throughout walls and furniture pieces you can create an inviting atmosphere that encourages exploration and learning in any library setting. Additionally, creating presentation areas with creative backdrops provides guest speakers with a platform they won’t soon forget while providing you with photo opportunities perfect for promoting your business on social media!

With just a few simple touches you can transform any drab library into an inspiring place full of possibilities! Start brainstorming some ideas today – your patrons will thank you later!

Check out these related resources for making your library decor unique:

Library Decor Inspiration

Tips for Creating a Presentation Area in Your Children’s Library



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What to Include in Your Perfect Indoor Family Play Area

Tips for Creating a Presentation Area in Your Children’s Library

Creating a Sense of Fun and Nostalgia for The Next Generation of Kids

7 Tips for Designing the Ultimate Dental Office Playground

I’m sure that over the years, many bosses have found ample reason to shout, “This is a business, not a playground!!!”

But in the world of pediatric dentistry, turning your business into a dental playground is precisely what your customers are demanding!

It not only creates a unique and memorable experience that can set your practice apart from your competitors. Creating a fun, playful pre-appointment environment can go a long way to reducing a child’s fear of visiting the dentist.

Reduce anxiety to help fill pediatric dental chairs.

A recent research paper (How Can We Reduce Dental Fear in Children? The Importance of the First Dental Visit.) cited that 9% of children and adolescents in Canada, the US, and Europe suffer from dental anxiety

The researchers found that early exposure to the dentist (before age two when the first tooth erupts) and frequent visits after that are shown to reduce dental fear.

Our results reveal that the age at which children first go to the dentist and the frequency of visits are key factors in preventing dental fear because they predict 44.4% of dental fear.” 

The researchers identified three important consequences of dental anxiety in children that impact both your patient and your practice:

  1. Pediatric patients will go to the dentist less often than necessary.
  2. They may not be able to receive the necessary treatments due to fear.
  3. They may be uncooperative with dental treatment staff.

Investing in a dental playground in your lobby can go a long way to alleviating anxiety in young children. By making a trip to the dentist something a child looks forward to, you will encourage more frequent visits and a higher quality of care.

So, what do you need to consider when building a play area in your lobby?

Tip 1: Create elements for active play in your dental practice.

Just like a traditional playground, your dental practice playspace should encourage kids to be active so that they can burn off energy and anxiety. This helps the worry disappear.

When we talk about active play, we’re describing lobby features like small slides, forts, climbing & balance structures… even places to jump and dance. Like a park playground, but at a much smaller scale.

Child-sized forts are a place where imagination can take control.

Yellow and grey camper themed kids play house.

Slides will have kids up and down and burning off energy. A slide can be a part of a bigger activity fort as well, with video games and play panels.

Pirate ship themed play slide.

Or they can be small stand-alone structures.

Yellow slide on a pirate ship themed play structure

Active play can help children release energy and reduce stress which is good for priming children for their appointments, but it can improve their overall well-being as well. You’re in the business of kids’ wellness, so helping kids benefit from visiting your office in numerous ways is just good practice.

Tip 2: Cater your dental play area to different ages.

Your practice caters to children of different ages. Your play area should too. One recommendation is to have a separate play area for toddlers, where the bigger kids won’t bump into them. It may simply be a padded play area with a smaller slide, safe soft foam play structures, and easy hands-on games.

Soft play foam sculpture slide with a goat sitting on a mountain side.
Soft play foam sculpture slide with a goat sitting on a mountainside.
Woodland rock game wall with Keebee play boards and video games.
Woodland rock game wall with Keebee play boards and video games.

Structures should be a little more advanced for children aged 5-10. For older kids, video games and electronic devices are more age-appropriate. You may want to section off your game area so pre-teen patients have some privacy.

Kids playing on wall mounted gaming tablets.

Tip 3: Think safety when building your dental playground.

Just like kids have dental anxiety, parents have safety worries!

It’s always a smart idea to install a cushioned floor if you want to go the extra mile to avoid a child flopping on the floor too hard. There are a variety of options from mall play area grade flooring…

to the snap-together flooring that you have probably seen parents can add to their at-home playrooms.

But don’t worry too much when it comes to professionally made play options for kids. Most manufacturers put incredible thought and care into the design of their play elements – avoiding sharp corners and tripping hazards. Many structures and climbable components are built with highly durable materials to keep up with active kids.

Tip 4: Pick a theme that carries through your office environment.

Coming up with a great theme for your dental playground makes it more memorable and provides a creative thread to tie everything together. Jungle theme. Dinosaur theme. Underwater theme. The sky’s the limit. (Yes, flying themes are a thing too).

By extending your theme from the front lobby to the clinical area and treatment rooms, you maintain the magic from one space to the next. This helps put young minds at ease throughout their visit.

A sunk ship play fort is a great distraction in the reception area.
Contemporary silhouette underwater themed wall mural in a dental treatment bay.
Murals in the open bay treatment area tie it together with the play area.

Just about any space in your office can be tailored to your theme – the front desk, front door, walls, ceilings, and floors. Durable 3D characters are not only decorative; they can be used as a fun way to provide task-oriented signage. Plus, they make for a good photo opportunity (which increases your chances of getting shared on social media for free advertising).

Tip 5: Consider opportunities for quiet play elements.

We talked about active play earlier. Well, every playground needs a quiet area too. It’s a good idea to designate space for patients who would rather sit with a book or play quietly.

Interactive play elements provide a chance for kids to use their growing minds. Examples of interactive play elements include an activity wall designed to test budding motor skills, foam building blocks, legos… the list goes on.

Tip 6: Keep it bright, colorful, and inviting!

Enough said! Let kids know an area is for them with bright primary colors to liven your children’s play area.

A gingerbread house slide with cookies, icecream, and candy tiles made for kids to play on.
A gingerbread house slide with cookies, ice cream, and candy tiles made for kids to play on.

Tip 7: Make it comfortable for parents.

Like any lobby, seating should be comfy for parents and guardians. It should also be situated so that it’s easy for them to keep an eye on their littles.

Speaking of comfort, indoor dental playgrounds can get noisy with squeals of joy. Investing in sound baffling solutions can reduce the decibel levels for parents and staff alike to provide a more enjoyable experience. A private room with walls, acoustic felt wall panels, plush beanbag chairs, or carpeted floors can all help absorb sound.

And one final tip… have fun designing your playground!

Working with an established creative design and fabrication partner that really loves what they do will make your renovation process a treat every step of the way!

Don’t know where to start with creating your dental playground? One of our Creative Consultants would love to help. Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to a magical patient experience.

Check out these related resources for making your waiting room a fun place to spend some time:

Top 7 Interactive Waiting Room Ideas

Tips to Make Your Dental Practice More Inviting for Pediatric Patients



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What to Include in Your Perfect Indoor Family Play Area

Tips for Creating a Presentation Area in Your Children’s Library

Attract Families to Your Church with Decor for Kids




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