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If you are planning on building a playground for your office, park, school, or church it might seem complicated. The most important factors are safety, practicality, and most of all fun! Here are a few things to think about when picking out your playground equipment.
Who is this play system for? You need to know your audience. That means considering the age group and what their needs are. If it is a park setting with a range of ages you might want to consider incorporating different elements such as a swing set with different seats, spring riders for the younger kids, and perhaps a play system for the older ones.
Is it themed play, geared towards physical fitness, or motor skills development? We offer a range of play systems that incorporate developmental skills, fitness, and cognitive thinking. Our newest line of loose parts systems called Snug Play is popular with children’s museums, schools, and learning centers for its indoor/outdoor capabilities combined with all of these beneficial elements.
You also want to consider ADA (Americans with disabilities) compliance. Most play systems have ADA options, and in our opinion this is always something to consider. We believe everyone should be able to have fun! Many of our play systems have components or can be modified to include ADA entry.
Next, consider how much space the playground will take up. Remember that each play element has a “safe zone” around it so you will need to add this to your overall square footage. Not including this will lead to accidents and you will also possibly not get approved to build. For example, a slide would always need “x” amount space in the front with enough soft earth (grass or artificial rubber mulch) to be safe, depending on the size of the slide. Most manufacturers will have the specifications for the required play areas and states will have guidelines. Following safety regulations is always a priority. Proper planning and surfacing can prevent numerous injuries and make your playground safe.
I mentioned elements earlier but really think about what you want in terms of playground equipment. Visit local playgrounds and see what the kids there enjoy playing on the most. Get some ideas from teachers, kids, fellow friends who are parents. Ask play system suppliers for good ideas and suggestions.
Budget is the next question. Play systems add up fast. You might be the type of person that wants to invest in one large play structure that incorporates all of the elements. Be flexible and be prepared to make changes to your plan. Sometimes a less expensive alternative will offer just as much enjoyment as something that costs more. Remember to include the costs for ground cover and other site amenities like trash receptacles, park benches, picnic tables.
Remember that this is fun! What is more fun than creating the ultimate play area for kids? We all have fond memories of some playground experience where we spent hours imagining ourselves to be kings of castles, dragon warriors, pirates, and princesses.