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Good design makes our life easier. That’s why it’s important for the creators to try and imagine themselves in other people’s shoes when sketching things for their use. Whether it’s a playground or an office building, those responsible for the design have to consider the needs of different groups of people, for instance, those with disabilities, seniors, or children, just to name a few; and that might not be easy. However, some people excel at the task and provide exemplary results.

Today we have gathered some of the best examples of design that alleviates life with and for children. Whether it’s something that helps parents to handle their little ones, or solutions that aid the kids themselves, these people knew exactly what would come in handy for one of the two groups. Their ingenious designs cover everything from tiny doors to playtime areas at the dentist’s, and much more. Scroll down to find their concepts.

In order to better understand what makes a good design and what effect it can have on people, Bored Panda reached out to the architectural psychologist and professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Dak Kopec. He was kind enough to share some of his thoughts, which you will find in the text below.

#1

This See-Saw Has Sliding Weights So Different-Sized Kids Could Play Together

This See-Saw Has Sliding Weights So Different-Sized Kids Could Play Together

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RP
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or just use the old fashioned design where it's one long log. You learn a lot about physics trying to work out where to sit based on differences in weight

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#2

A Test Of Maturity

A Test Of Maturity

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#3

This Playground Has A Sign So Hearing And Deaf Kids Could Play Together

This Playground Has A Sign So Hearing And Deaf Kids Could Play Together

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It’s not easy to find a universal definition of what good design is. It’s a complex matter that involves creativity, anticipating and understanding the end-user’s needs, and so much more. Yet, oftentimes, people recognize a good design when they see one intuitively.

That is because such design is typically expected to tick two main boxes—functionality and aesthetics. An item has to serve a purpose, however, it has to be visually appealing as well, which is why it’s important to find that middle ground. When the designer reaches this goal, it automatically positively reflects in the user’s experience.

#4

Miniature Traffic Playground In Copenhagen Where Kids Learn To Bike In Traffic

Miniature Traffic Playground In Copenhagen Where Kids Learn To Bike In Traffic

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Joanna
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Awesome, I can think of many adult cyclists that would benefit from that, too!

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#5

My Husband Built This Indoor Playhouse For Our Foster Children, Complete With A Kitchen, Real Working Windows, And Lights

My Husband Built This Indoor Playhouse For Our Foster Children, Complete With A Kitchen, Real Working Windows, And Lights

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A set of requirements for what a good design should be was presented by Dieter Rams, a renowned German designer who spent decades working with the consumer products company Braun and the furniture company Vitsœ.

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Back in the late 1970s, he asked himself the question “is my design good design?” and came up with 10 principles for good design that are equally relevant to this day. The first thing he emphasized was that it has to be innovative. The constant technological advancements provide an abundance of opportunities for innovation, which is why it’s important to try and keep up.

#6

My Car Wash Has A Soap Cannon For Kids

My Car Wash Has A Soap Cannon For Kids

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#7

I Saw A Special Swing For Wheelchair-Bound Children

I Saw A Special Swing For Wheelchair-Bound Children

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Alexandra Davis
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Aarrrhhhhgggg we are not wheelchair bound! I am not bound to my wheelchair, I am a wheelchair user. I'm not bound to it 24/7 like a prisoner! I am a full time wheelchair user you can also get ambulatory users too. Please can we stop using the term 'bound'! On a lighter note, these should be in every play area. Many (in the Uk at least) are locked and people get upset when they see this, but the key is the radar key that unlock disabled toilets, so every disabled person should have one (you can easily buy them for £2-3) and it stops them being abused by people who don't need to use it.

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#8

These Kids Toilets In A London Museum. Whose Sinks Slope To Cater For Progressively Shorter Children

These Kids Toilets In A London Museum. Whose Sinks Slope To Cater For Progressively Shorter Children

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Brendan (banned for downvotes)
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This would be so useful. My two boys (5yo & 2yo) have to climb up onto the sinks to wash their hands.

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Second on the list was usefulness, which is what you get after combining functionality with certain psychological functions and aesthetics. Rams suggested that good design accentuates the usefulness of a product by relinquishing anything that does not serve its purpose.

He continued to emphasize the importance of aesthetics itself, as well as noting that good design makes a product understandable. In addition to that, it has to be unobtrusive, as functional products are not decorative objects, nor works of art, which is why they should be quite neutral.

#9

This Park Has A Swing Where A Parent And A Kid Can Swing At The Same Time

This Park Has A Swing Where A Parent And A Kid Can Swing At The Same Time

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cats_from_the_void
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have one near me and boy do I love getting kicked in the chest or back every swing

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#10

My Daughter's First Grade Classroom Has Desks With Pedals So Kids Can Move While Learning

My Daughter's First Grade Classroom Has Desks With Pedals So Kids Can Move While Learning

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The rest of the ten principles pointed out that good design should be honest and long-lasting. It should also be thorough down to the last detail and environmentally-friendly. Last but not least, according to Dieter Rams, good design is as little design as possible, which relies on his approach of “less, but better”.

#12

They Make Mini Replica MRI Machines, Complete With Noises, To Prepare Children For Their Scan

They Make Mini Replica MRI Machines, Complete With Noises, To Prepare Children For Their Scan

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#13

These Special, Short Windows For Curious Children To See The Construction Site

These Special, Short Windows For Curious Children To See The Construction Site

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TeaAndWhimsy
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Slussen, Stockholm. Some of us short adults also benefit from the different heights!

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#14

Bus For A Pre-School Kids. Spotted In Nagoya

Bus For A Pre-School Kids. Spotted In Nagoya

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Any design depends largely on the end user. It’s important to take into account their needs, in addition to weighing numerous other factors, such as their environment, for instance. Architectural psychologist, Prof. Dak Kopec told Bored Panda that an in-depth interview process and surrounding community analysis is the best way to anticipate design decisions that can benefit certain groups of people the most.

“A good designer will be able to assess a group of end-users’ needs through asking strategic questions, observing the intended end-users in similar environments, and studying the regional cultural nuances along with values, traditions, and norms,” he said.

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Dr. Kopec pointed out that these factors are all regional—within a given city, county, or township—which is why, according to him, a good designer will not assume that a cluster of people will be the same in London, New York, Honolulu, Sydney, and elsewhere.

#15

My City Has A Mock City To Train Kids Rules Of Traffic. It Includes A McDonald's And Tim Horton's

My City Has A Mock City To Train Kids Rules Of Traffic. It Includes A McDonald's And Tim Horton's

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#16

Whoever Invented This In A Public Restroom To Hold My Child In Place Is A Genius

Whoever Invented This In A Public Restroom To Hold My Child In Place Is A Genius

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Nezuko_Chan
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh yeah we went to a gas station like this yesterday we were going to legoland and we stopped to go to the bathroom, it’s made to keep small children from running away

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#17

This Beautiful Bus Stop Is In Holstein, Germany. In Front Of The Local High School

This Beautiful Bus Stop Is In Holstein, Germany. In Front Of The Local High School

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“Good design helps relieve stress and promote ideal behaviors or outcomes when it properly reflects the community it serves. Colors, patterns, geometry, art, etc. are all symbols that reflect a community’s values, preferences, and desires. An environment that does not reflect the population will cause people to feel as though they do not belong, which can result in fear, anger or frustration,” architectural psychologist and professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Dak Kopec told Bored Panda.

#18

My Local Domino's Has A Stand For Kids To Come Up And Watch Them Make Pizzas

My Local Domino's Has A Stand For Kids To Come Up And Watch Them Make Pizzas

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#19

This Shopping Cart Has A Spot For Kids To Stand On While The Parents Push

This Shopping Cart Has A Spot For Kids To Stand On While The Parents Push

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Satan Laughs
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well how are they going to flip the entire cart over and become trapped like a caged animal like the rest of us? #howIgotcuncussedatthegrocerystore.

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#20

The Children's Playground At The Airport In Zürich, Switzerland. It's A Mini Airport

The Children's Playground At The Airport In Zürich, Switzerland. It's A Mini Airport

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Designing for children is no exception—as with any other group, it requires thorough research that helps to understand their needs better and provide solutions accordingly. In addition to being functional and aesthetically pleasing, good design can also positively influence children’s development.

#21

This Book Is For Children To Teach How To Tie Shoes

This Book Is For Children To Teach How To Tie Shoes

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starsailor (they/he)
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

when i was 4, my mom took me to nordstrom. they were having a shoe-tying lesson there for little kids. i couldn't get it right and cried.

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“Good design can influence and enhance a child's development,” Prof. Kopec said. “Loris Malaguzzi is the originator of the thought that all children have three teachers: their peers, adults, and the environment or classroom. Malaguzzi further believed that all children have curiosity, potential, and preparedness, which is echoed within Rachel and Stephen Kaplan’s preference module that states an environment should have four elements: coherence, legibility, complexity, mystery.

“Hence, each environment should allow for curiosity, potential, and preparedness through the inclusion of elements that allow for coherence, legibility, complexity, and mystery,” he explained.

#24

This Carousel In Hong Kong Has A Sea Turtle Mounted To The Floor For Disabled Children

This Carousel In Hong Kong Has A Sea Turtle Mounted To The Floor For Disabled Children

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Alexandra Davis
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've used these on similar rides in the UK- nice to be included and the ride even had a lift to get me up to the level from the floor

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#26

My School Has Racks In The Front Office For Kids To Put Their Skateboards On During The Day

My School Has Racks In The Front Office For Kids To Put Their Skateboards On During The Day

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The professor pointed out that some groups of people are more prone to be influenced by certain design decisions; children, seniors, or people with mental disabilities, for instance. “These are important populations because they tend to be the most influenced by environment design because of the embedded symbols that carry meaning,” he said.

“This is because vision is our (human) primary sensory detection, as such, what we see is what we respond to at a basic instinctual level. Educated adults often screen out or rationalize visual cues at a subconscious level or have a larger frame of reference from which to process visual information.”

#27

This Playground Has A Sunscreen Dispenser For Kids

This Playground Has A Sunscreen Dispenser For Kids

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#28

The Kid's Menu At This Restaurant I Stopped In

The Kid's Menu At This Restaurant I Stopped In

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NickTheDuck
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes madam, I will be having the I'm Not Hungry, and my wife will be having the I Guess So.

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#29

This Playground Has A Velociraptor Buried In The Sandpit For Kids To Dig Up

This Playground Has A Velociraptor Buried In The Sandpit For Kids To Dig Up

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cerinamroth
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Don't go putting bones in German playgrounds - our local one had to be closed for months while it was completely dug up for an investigation after bones were found because it was the near where some people were killed in 1939-1945. Thankfully it just turned out to be the old site of a butcher's shop many moons ago.

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These pictures show some of the best decisions when it comes to designing for kids or their parents; however, not all people deal with such a task equally well. If you’d like to see some examples of less well-thought-through designs for children, browse this list of hilariously inappropriate playground design fails that are hard to believe were approved.

#30

Simple Way To Measure Kids Feet At My Local Shop

Simple Way To Measure Kids Feet At My Local Shop

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Stary_cat
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same at my shoe shop these are so useful so you don’t have to get your foot measured

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#32

My Son's Shoes Have Different Color Inserts To Make It Easier For Him To Tell Left From Right

My Son's Shoes Have Different Color Inserts To Make It Easier For Him To Tell Left From Right

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Ronstantin
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nice idea. To slightly extend the mnemonic trick one could use bLLLue for left and oRRRange for right 😉

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#33

This Swing For Kids Waiting At The Bus Stop In Bergen, Norway

This Swing For Kids Waiting At The Bus Stop In Bergen, Norway

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#34

This Cool LED Slide For The Kids

This Cool LED Slide For The Kids

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#35

This Cloth Screen Goes Over The Door Hinge, At A Preschool, To Keep Kids From Getting Their Fingers Smashed

This Cloth Screen Goes Over The Door Hinge, At A Preschool, To Keep Kids From Getting Their Fingers Smashed

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#36

This Station With Free-To-Borrow Lifejackets For Kids

This Station With Free-To-Borrow Lifejackets For Kids

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#37

A Shopping Mall In My City Has A Giant Artificial Tree For Kids To Play In

A Shopping Mall In My City Has A Giant Artificial Tree For Kids To Play In

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#38

In The Europa Park Hotel In Germany, There's A Tiny Children's Bathroom In The Bathroom

In The Europa Park Hotel In Germany, There's A Tiny Children's Bathroom In The Bathroom

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#39

This Playground Equipment Is Too Genius. Mini Excavator For Kids To Play

This Playground Equipment Is Too Genius. Mini Excavator For Kids To Play

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#40

This McDonald's Has The Table Drop Down For Kids

This McDonald's Has The Table Drop Down For Kids

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Satan Laughs
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One of my happiest memories in the 80’s was picking which hamburger head I’d sit on and feed the tiny birds all my French fries. And before one of you young pandas gets all flustered about what we fed them, these were 80’s birds. They ate French fries, too, back then. Science. 🫣

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#41

Kids Slide With Rollers Near Osaka Castle

Kids Slide With Rollers Near Osaka Castle

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DC
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Uh, I remember those. NEVER wear the shortest pants, NEVER slide in something that doesn't cover your butt and at least a handwidth of leg. Butt cheeks protude, in relation to legs, a bit, and may get stuck in SOME of those roller slides. I had that happen when I was like 6 or 7, and although it didn't do much harm, it hurt.

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#42

This Cool Kid's Washroom

This Cool Kid's Washroom

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cerinamroth
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When my daughter told me sharks were scary, I just told her they are singing power ballads whenever they come up through the water like this. We had a good laugh (and a good sing) about it! Now she's fascinated by them!

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#43

They Have Built-In Children Seats In The Madrid Bus

They Have Built-In Children Seats In The Madrid Bus

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#44

This Enclosed Bus Stop For The Kids To Use While Waiting In The Cold

This Enclosed Bus Stop For The Kids To Use While Waiting In The Cold

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#45

This Extension For Piano Pedals Is Designed For Advanced Child Pianists Who Can't Reach The Pedals With Their Legs Yet

This Extension For Piano Pedals Is Designed For Advanced Child Pianists Who Can't Reach The Pedals With Their Legs Yet

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Alexandra Davis
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wow could have done with this when I was younger, my dad built something similar for me but thankfully I was a tall child so didn't need it for long

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#46

This Picnic Table Has A Built-In Seat For Infants And A Small Bench For Kids

This Picnic Table Has A Built-In Seat For Infants And A Small Bench For Kids

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#47

So My Wife And I Were Shopping For A Children's Car-Seat. We Were Not Disappointed

So My Wife And I Were Shopping For A Children's Car-Seat. We Were Not Disappointed

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#48

This Dairy Queen Has A Door Just For The Kids

This Dairy Queen Has A Door Just For The Kids

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VidGam4
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Uh, I don’t care about the “recommended age”, I’m using this door. I wanna walk through the door with spider man!

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#49

This Bowling Alley Has A Dragon-Shaped Ball Aimer/Launcher For Little Kids To Use

This Bowling Alley Has A Dragon-Shaped Ball Aimer/Launcher For Little Kids To Use

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NickTheDuck
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think most alleys do, because my local one does. super useful for my little sisters.

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#50

The Taps In Our Kindergarten Have Googly Eyes And Caps To Entertain Children

The Taps In Our Kindergarten Have Googly Eyes And Caps To Entertain Children

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Note: this post originally had 97 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.