Planning and building a playground takes a massive deal of organization. It’s not just designing an outdoor playset as there’s a lot to consider. Like any other renovation project, all the necessary details build upon each other until you have an outdoor playground where kids can play and have fun. Increasing access to outdoor playgrounds provides plenty of benefits to kids of all ages. A playground helps increase the amount of physical activity children get. A lot has changed in how playgrounds are now built. Currently, playgrounds are designed for fun, safety, and how they develop a child’s mental and physical abilities. But where should one start when planning a playground project? Here’s what you need to know.
Choosing Playground Equipment
Having the appropriate equipment is a critical factor. You want to design a space where kids can have fun and play. If you don’t center your equipment on what children need, they won’t use it – and for children, play is vital. “You need to have equipment that is safe to use by children and conforms to the relevant safety standards,” says the in-house team at Moduplay. The design of playground equipment has taken a considerable shift in the past years. The playground equipment you might remember from your childhood has been redesigned with safety and inclusion as a key factor. The bottom line is to ensure you create a space where kids can be active and a place where their imagination soars.
Who is the Playground Intended For?
Knowing who will use the playground will help you decide the equipment you need to install. Kids play differently and are at various stages of growth at different ages. For example, a playground designed for a 6-year-old won’t appeal to a 13-year-old and may not be the perfect size for them. Likewise, children under two years of age will have challenges using equipment designed for 8- or 10-year-olds. You will also need to consider the abilities of people who will use the playground equipment.
You need to know where you want to build your outdoor playground – maybe you own the land, or the land belongs to another entity. It’s essential to start this process by making the necessary arrangements and reaching out to the landowner. You also need to create schedules to figure out when you can talk to them. If it’s a business partnership, remember to walk your partner(s) through all the construction details every step of the way. If you own the land, you’re ready to begin right away. You can start by enlisting the advice, experiences, and insights of those who have planned and implemented a safe playground. Sometimes, most people miss out on crucial areas when planning a playground project for the first time. Having extra eyes on your playground project can help flag potential areas that need to be prioritized.
Even though you don’t want money to dictate every decision you make, your budget can make or break your playground project. What you need to consider is where your finances will come from to fund the project. An excellent long-lasting project will use a significant sum of money. Do you have money for funding, or can you plan for fundraising to raise more? If it’s fundraising, you can set a budget based on what type of equipment you want and the playground size. Once this is achieved, you can then set a funding goal.
Keep or Replace Existing Equipment?
This is an area that many people grapple with. If you have existing equipment on-site, ensure the equipment is evaluated. This helps assess whether it’s in good condition and meets current safety and accessibility guidelines. This is a crucial area where you need to work with playground experts. If the equipment is not compliant with current safety regulations, you will need to arrange for its removal. The last thing you want in your playground is faulty equipment that can cause harm to a child.
Consider Nearby Vegetation
Trees and vegetation near the playground can provide shade to children on hot days. However, you want to think about the location of the roots of those trees. You need to consider whether excavating in the area will potentially cause them harm. You also need to consider the quality and type of different plants in that area. Having a landscaped area near a playground can improve its appearance. However, you need to be careful about spraying those plants with herbicides – they can harm the kids.
After so much planning has gone into making a playground a reality, plan for maintenance. This will help to increase its lifespan. You’ll also need to follow relevant recommendations for repairs and care. The playground and the equipment on-site will need to be inspected regularly to ensure it’s working, as it should eliminate the risk of injuries or accidents.