Lappset´s story

Antero Ikäheimo, founder of Lappset, with his daughter Johanna Ikäheimo

Lappset is an expert in play

Lappset is an expert in play, known for its persistent and unprejudiced approach to developing new innovations. We want to bring the joy of play to people of all ages.

Our story began in northern Finnish Lapland, over forty years ago. Antero Ikäheimo began to develop an idea of a warmer and softer-looking play environment, which gave him the grounds to establish Lappset in 1970. He wanted children to have wooden toys – not just the metallic carousels and climbing frames that were fashionable at the time. He wanted to create a new kind of a play environment where children could climb about and have fun with the equipment independently, which would give them more strength and help them to develop their sense of balance at the same time. Nevertheless, Antero also wanted to make the equipment fun so that getting exercise would literally be child’s play.

Turning words into action

Antero Ikäheimo wasted no time in turning words into action and promptly began to produce innovative wooden playground equipment. The very first play equipment was produced under a Swedish licence by a subcontracted carpentry workshop in the town of Pello, close to the Swedish border. Before long the northern play experts, Antero and his brother Risto, were known throughout Finland and even beyond: by the 1970s the brothers were already making sales calls in Scandinavia, the Benelux countries and even Japan.

Growing along with the markets

However, the early years of the company were not all fun and games. Long delivery distances and the demands of efficient production presented challenges for the young company. In order to overcome these problems, Lappset began to develop new solutions, such as modular construction, and invested heavily in product and business development with a keen eye on market trends. Product development led to an innovative groove cutting technique that helps to control the natural splitting of wooden posts, and in the 1980s Lappset became the first company in the industry to invest in computer-aided design (CAD).

All-round thinking

The original vision of Lappset’s founding father – developing all-round environmentally sustainable design methods for play equipment and playgrounds – has proven to be a wise idea, and has advanced rapidly over time. The company has grown from a one-man band to an international group with subsidiaries in five different countries. Over 70% of the group’s turnover comes from overseas and exports span more than 40 countries. We are a dependable partner and a flexible service provider. We hope to infect everyone who has a playful mind with our enthusiasm.

Lappset takes playing seriously

We want to expand the concept of play. We want to take play everywhere. We believe that everyone, regardless of how old they are and where they live, has a right to play whenever they want. We do not want to just fill playgrounds with toys and equipment; we want to make entire areas more play-friendly. We believe that this approach benefits everyone, helping people of all ages to live more healthily and happily. We also see no reason to draw a line between playing and learning. The best kind of learning challenges the mind and the body at the same time and play serves many purposes: it is relaxation, learning and exercise all bundled into one.

Lappset playgrounds around the world
Pictures of parks
Take a peek at what kind of outdoor environments we have created around the world.