With today’s technology, it’s becoming more and more rare to see kids outside playing. Despite the fact that 73% of U.S. school districts give recess for their elementary students, students can often be found using technology during their free time instead of being active. So with that in mind, it’s more important than ever to provide children with a safe, fun place to spend their free time. With the right resources, churches, schools, and daycares can provide their kids with a playground that will promote play and physical activity. But how do you plan and design a playground?
Consider the space available to be built on: One of the first steps in planning a playground design is to think about what kind of space you’re working with. Is it a big, open grassy field? Or is it a small corner behind the building? Space is important to consider because it will determine how much playground equipment you can get, what kind of equipment you can get, and if you’ll be able to have separate areas for different age groups. For example, if you’re looking to include a playground climbing wall, it should be separated as much as possible from the equipment younger kids will be using. All in all, the bigger the space, the better. Large, open spaces will allow you to get more equipment and provide plenty of cushioned surfacing around the equipment.
Think about who will be using the playground: Before looking into commercial playground equipment, it’s important to know which age groups will be using the playground. Like previously stated, it can be beneficial to think about having separate areas within the playground for different age groups. If you are going to have a wide range of ages playing on the playground, it’s important to take that into consideration. Some equipment, like a playground climbing wall, and other more advanced equipment should be kept separately so younger kids aren’t tempted to try to play on it. So when considering space and type of equipment, make sure you consider the skill levels needed for different types of equipment.
Evaluate what your budget will allow for: While money shouldn’t be the only consideration, it certainly is a big one. Unfortunately, it isn’t always just the playground equipment that needs to be paid for. New surfacing, site preparation, storage, and other costs need to be factored into your budget for this project. If you have a specific budget, you need to set your plans to fit within that budget. It may also be beneficial to look into grants and fundraising opportunities that may be able to provide financial aid if necessary.
Custom playgrounds are the perfect way to encourage kids to get outside and get active. Whether you’re looking for something small, like a swing set, a playground climbing wall, and a few other pieces of equipment, or you’re looking to go all out, it’s important to plan carefully to ensure a fun and safe experience for the kids.