Planning your commercial playground: From design to installation in five steps
Knowing where to start when it comes to planning and installing a new playground isn’t always easy, whether it’s for a schoolyard, daycare, municipal park or community space.
That’s why our team has created a free document to guide you through the process. Our five-step guide will help you successfully plan, install and enjoy your new playground.
For more information, download our free PDF.
Step 1: Visualize and imagine your playground.
After imagining it for so long, you’re finally ready to make your dream come true. But what are your specific goals for your playground?
From your very first meeting with one of our project managers, we’ll guide you through all these considerations and help you identify your goals.
Consider the needs of your play area’s visitors and users.
Here are a few questions to help you identify the needs of those who will be using your play area.
- What is their age range? Capabilities?
- How many children or adults will be playing in the designated area at the same time?
- Are there any components you’d like to include for people with special needs?
- Are there certain characteristics that define your community? Is there a theme that may help you design your playground?
- Besides play equipment, will you need additional items such as benches, tables or garbage cans?
Think about your timeline and budget.
- What is your budget and timeline?
- How will the funds be secured?
- Do you need additional fundraising, grants or loans?
Step 2: Analyze the site chosen for your playground.
What is the best site for your project? It’s important to consider the natural features and existing amenities of your potential site.
Here are a few tips to help you choose a site or analyze your chosen location.
- What are the slope and soil conditions, and do they ensure proper drainage?
- What type of vegetation is there? Is it safe for visitors (especially children and pets)? Does the vegetation fit in with your design ideas?
- What are the weather conditions like (windy, full sun, temperature changes, etc.)?
- Is there other infrastructure available in the area (a parking lot, park benches, a bike or walking path, shaded areas or washrooms)?
- Will you need help from the city to access water, sewer and electricity?
Step 3: Design the playground layout.
This is the stage where everything comes together! At this stage, our designers will suggest designs based on your answers in the previous steps, to make sure everything is there for your community to enjoy.
How can I create a successful playground?
- What different types of components would you like to include?
- Consider the flow of the space. Can children explore in different directions? Does the experience include secrets and surprises?
- Are there specific areas for different energy levels and age groups?
- Do additional items, such as benches, tables or garbage cans, need to be installed?
- Is there space to expand the site in the future and make improvements to the playground?
Think about inclusive playgrounds, too.
- Can everyone access the playground safely and easily?
To help you better design your space, we work with three-dimensional plans.
Step 4: Install your playground equipment.
Whether you choose to have your structure installed by our team of installers or your own, we’ll help you get your space ready for your new play and recreational structures.
Factors to consider when planning your playground installation.
- Will the space be made of concrete, a free-standing system or a combination of the two?
- What type of protective coating will work best?
- What type of machinery is required for the installation?
- Who will serve as the project manager? Which community members should or could be part of this process?
Step 5: Celebrate and maintain your playground equipment.
After all your hard work and anticipation, what better way to bring your community to life than by inaugurating your brand-new playground?
Once the celebrations are over and daily use of the outdoor play space has begun, we encourage you to regularly service your playground equipment.
Think of your playground as a garden. Once it’s planted, it can’t be left untended. You need to care for a garden on a regular basis, and the same goes for playground equipment. If it isn’t maintained, playground equipment is more likely to be damaged faster and may no longer comply with safety standards.
Key steps for maintaining your playground equipment and play areas
- Check for loose, missing or broken parts.
- Check for rust, cracks, heavy wear or vandalism.
- Check bump-outs, pointy parts and edges.
- Check for noisy and squeaky sounds.
- Check for potential entanglement hazards.
Also, monitor protective surfaces closely.
- Check for obstructions in the equipment’s protective surfacing areas.
- Check for uneven, compressed or eroded surfaces.
- Check for damage from frost or poor drainage.
We work with communities to help maintain playground equipment. When it’s time to install your playground, we’ll give you the best advice for the products you selected.
Whether they’re providing advice or helping you replace parts that need servicing, our team is there every step of the way. Find out more about our warranties.
We offer different warranties for our playground equipment and structures. During the planning stage, our team can give you all the details and advice specific to your situation.