Childhood is a time for fun and learning, and doting parents who have the means and space will spare no expense when it comes to building the ultimate home playground for their children.

"Parents who want to build a private playground for their children are looking to make play part of their child's daily life," Ramiro says. "It's important that the playground encourages unguided play, so parents and child-minders won't have to worry about constant supervision."

The ultimate dream playground should be not only fantastical and inspire wonderment in children, it should also be designed to be safe and maximise what Ramiro calls "play values" - functions that allow for educational growth, improved communication, brain stimulation, dexterity, creative thinking and improvement of hand and eye co-ordination.

Parents looking for something extraordinary can consider including swings, tunnel slides and a sand pool inside their houses.

"A tunnel slide that links the top floor to the ground floor [or] a glass ceiling that opens up automatically to allow sunlight into the house and remains shut on rainy days so children can watch the rain coming down are some ideas," Au says.

A distinctive theme is also important - it could be based on a holiday destination that the child has been to, say a miniature replica of a street in Paris, or a landscape from their favourite storybook or fairy tale.

"A well-thought-out layout and theme can boost the development of imagination, especially if the play space is designed based on environments that are not easily accessible - for instance, outer space, a safari or an underwater world," Tong says.

For the ultimate dream playground, the Play Concept team decided on a two-storey underwater design, as they feel that the world beneath the ocean provides a sense of adventure, excitement, mystery, science and fun.

The upper level is a children's gym that includes junior gym equipment such as the Tommy machine, Oscar machine, Leonard machine, Caesar machine, Yukari bike and Buck runner from Italian manufacturer Panatta Sport.

A multilevel, contained play structure with a long, green tubular slide and a curved, purple tubular slide links this upper gym level with the lower marine-themed level, allowing for effective use of underfoot space.

The lower level includes fibreglass and tempered glass free-standing columns illuminated with Philips iColor Cove systems, giving the columns the appearance of a living organism. Fibreglass and polyurethane sculptures in the form of a tail of a marine creature can serve as a slide, bridge or cave, depending on how the child chooses to interact with it.

There will also be shell- and crab-shaped sculptures, and handcrafted heat-resistant translucent ceiling jellyfish.

An integrated audio system creates underwater sound effects, while the entire space is lit with a blue iColor Tile MX light system from Philips.

"While play is often mistaken as a tool to directly boost literacy in children, we would rather leave this to schools," Ramiro says. "Play allows a child to grow healthier, both mentally and physically.

"We designed this space to [maximise] play value, to raise interest in marine life among children, and to inspire them to dream of new worlds."

WHO: Play Concept
PROJECT TEAM: Founded in 2005, Play Concept is a Hong Kong-based company specialisingin designing indoor and outdoor play spaces for children.The Play Concept team, including lead conceptual designer and certified playground safety inspector (CPSI) Rupert Albert Ramiro, illustration designer Jerry Tong, and business managerand Judie Au, take physical and psychological aspects into consideration in their work. They believe that childhood and play are inseparable, and that "bringing play into people's lives is equivalent to bringing them happiness".