Kids’ outdoor playgrounds aren’t something you ever outgrow. They bring back pleasant memories at any given moment. If you’d like your kids to develop in a well-rounded way, a playground will help this happen. With the right tools and equipment to boost physical and mental growth, these spaces are essential in a child’s overall growth.
Whether you’re looking for preschool playground equipment for private or public areas, this blog has got you covered. Read on to learn how to select the right equipment and tips to do it correctly.
Here’s how you select the right playground equipment
Picking the right fit of playground equipment suppliers can be tricky. Follow-up on these steps to make this journey smooth:
Evaluate playground requirements:
The kids’ outdoor playground structure relies heavily on where it’s located. You can opt for a complete structure or several freestanding equipment. If you want lots of kids to enjoy it, you may aim for ages 2 to 12 years old. This welcomes toddlers, kids, and school-going children to find something adventurous and challenging.
Cross-check the location:
The location for your preschool playground equipment must be spacious. Moreover, the space should be equipped to accommodate the equipment and crowds if it is a public area. Public playgrounds are usually situated near convenient spaces like schools and parking lots, so that’s another crucial point to tick off. Besides, playgrounds incorporate nature at best. Ensure abundant trees, flower beds, plants, and natural shade in the space.
Special kid-friendly equipment:
While the standard kid’s outdoor playground covers most of the necessary equipment, it is encouraged to make special accommodations for physically and mentally divergent kids. A playground is a safe space, so it must be available for all kids. Go a step further with your playground equipment supplier to include ground-level play equipment, modified landings, handrails, clutter-free spaces, transfer steps and platforms, play tables, and ground-level and elevated routes.
Set a budget frame to know how far you can push it. It will greatly impact the different types of preschool playground equipment you get. The budget will also help you review whether a complete structure, freestanding structures, or a bit of both suits you best. A base budget will financially secure your investment to gain maximum benefits.
With the budget, age, and location out of the way, you can dig deep into the options of playground equipment suppliers, surfacing, and structures available at your disposal. You will find vast choices in themed playgrounds, site amenities, sensory playground equipment, and custom playground equipment. Let your creative ideas run wild and create an extraordinary playground.
Tips to select fitting preschool playground equipment
Safety measures: Safety is the most important aspect of building a playground. For instance, substitute a shock-absorbent part over metals where possible. This will ensure minimal collateral injuries on the playground equipment supplier’s end.
Regular maintenance: Kids spend a long time in playgrounds, especially if it’s set up in their backyards. Consequently, it’s common for the equipment to display signs of wear and tear. Look for loose parts, missing parts, and sharp edges. Preschool playground comes with frequent inspections and rectifying measures to keep it safe.
Pick age-appropriate equipment: Keep age as a kid’s playground framework when creating a playground. It is a value-for-money approach while ensuring your children get the physical stimulation they need at that age. Consider fences to keep toddlers out of rides meant for older kids. You may consult with playground equipment to find age-appropriate equipment.
Why choose us?
At All Play Inc., our team of experts is ready to help you bring your playground ideas to life. We empathize with deep sensitivity to understand your requirements. You can pick highly reliable play systems and kids’ playground equipment with our professionals. Our structures combine safety, quality construction, unique designs, and sturdy installation. Playground equipment suppliers from Houston have got all playground-related needs covered. Contact us today to get started on your kid’s safe space– where they can have fun, make memories, and grow.
A playground installation is at the top of the list for creating a safe and welcoming community for families. Playgrounds provide a fun and safe space for children to play, socialize, and explore with their peers. Now, we will explore the importance of installing a playground in your community and understand why choosing high-quality playground equipment is essential for everyone.
What is the need to install playground equipment?
Playground equipment is an essential part of community playgrounds, and it is important to understand their significance before deciding on the installation. Some of the reasons are:
Promotes physical activity:
One of the primary reasons for installing a playground in your community is to promote physical activity among children. Screen time is prevalent today, and getting children outside to play can be a challenge. So, a playground encourages them to engage in physical activities by providing a safe and fun space to play, which is essential for their mental and physical health.
Physical activities help children develop strong bones and muscles, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity. So, playgrounds provide an excellent opportunity for children to engage in physical activities in a safe environment.
Playgrounds are a place for children to play, but they also provide a space for the little ones to socialize and develop essential social skills. Children learn to interact with their peers, build friendships, and communicate effectively by playing in the playground. Socialization is significant for children’s development, and playground equipment provides an excellent opportunity for them to develop these skills.
Encourages imaginative play:
Playgrounds are the perfect space for children to use their imagination and engage in creative play. High-quality equipment offers various play structures that encourage imaginative play. Children can pretend they are sailing the sea, climbing a mountain, or exploring a jungle while playing in the playground. Imaginative play is essential for children’s cognitive development and helps them develop creativity, including problem-solving skills.
Boosts community spirit:
Installing a playground can also help boost community spirit. The playground provides a space where families interact, building a sense of community. A playground is a space where parents can meet and socialize while their children play. It helps create a community of like-minded individuals who share similar values.
Benefits of choosing high-quality playground equipment
It would help if you chose high-quality playground equipment when installing a playground in your community. All Play Inc, a commercial playground company, offers a range of safe, fun, and durable equipment. Here is a breakdown of why you should choose All Play for your community’s playground needs.
The play structures of the company are made from safe and durable, high-quality materials. We also follow strict regulations and guidelines to ensure the equipment is safe for all children.
We know that playgrounds are subject to extreme weather conditions and heavy use. So, choosing long-lasting, durable equipment is essential for everyone. All play’s equipment is made from the best quality materials that withstand all hassles. So, it is designed to last, which makes it an excellent investment for any community.
All Play Inc. offers a wide range of playground equipment that caters to different age groups, abilities, and interests. They have play structures that encourage imaginative play, physical activity, and socialization. Their equipment is designed to cater to different needs and preferences, making it an excellent choice for communities with diverse populations.
All Play Inc. also offers customization options, allowing you to create a playground that meets your needs and preferences. We can work with you to design a playground that caters to your community’s unique needs, budget, and space requirements.
Final thoughts on playground equipment
Installing a playground in your community is essential for promoting physical activity, encouraging socialization and imaginative play, boosting community spirit, and providing a safe and fun space for children to play. However, it is important to consider safety, durability, variety, and customization options when choosing playground equipment for your community.
So, visit All Play Inc now and get the best quality equipment. The best part here is that the company also helps you install the equipment easily at your convenience.
An all-accessible playground provides kids with the perfect space to develop their physical and motor skills. Moreover, beach playgrounds are one of the best spaces to help children enjoy recreational activities. Thanks to some excellent amenities apart from fun slides, they also benefit visitors and communities.
Reasons to Install a Beach Playground
Beach playgrounds can create a fun and stimulating environment for children to play and explore. They can help children develop physical skills such as balance, coordination, and strength, as well as social skills such as cooperation and communication. The sand and water elements of beach playgrounds can also provide opportunities for children to learn about and interact with the natural world.
Thus, a beach playground is a one-stop destination for everyone, including kids and adults.However, if you are still not convinced about getting one installed at your nearest beach, the following reasons may help you understand its benefits.
An Attractive Space for Families
Suppose you install different playground equipment at a beach. In that case, it can attract more families, especially those struggling to find a suitable location for their kids’ outdoor playground.
Families have become budget-conscious today, and visiting a beach playground is a perfect way to enjoy yourself without spending much! You can avoid expenses related to boardwalk shops or arcade games and use the playground free to enjoy recreational activities.
Activities for Kids
Most communities seek help from a playground equipment supplier to install different slides on the beach for kids. That is why these playgrounds are convenient for kids to explore different playful activities.
Parents (on family weekends) and teachers (on school trips) can use open green spaces to introduce preschool playground equipment to the kids on the beaches. Such equipment makes beach trips more fun and inclusive of the entire family or community.
Happy and Active Minds
Beach playgrounds encourage children to keep moving instead of lazing around doing nothing. It enables the little ones to remain healthy and improve their mental health.
Moreover, children who get sufficient exercise can sleep faster and for longer, improving their cognition and attitudes. Remaining active also enables the kids to boost their energy levels and fight off signs of depression.
Enhanced Sunlight Time
If there is a way children can enhance the supply of Vitamin D in their bodies, it would be sunlight! Lack of outdoor sun exposure can affect children’s health by increasing the risk of reduced bone health, reduced muscle functions, and the possibility of cardiovascular diseases.
Indulging in fun activities, kids often spend a sufficient amount of time on the beach playgrounds, receiving enough sunlight exposure. It has multiple benefits, including increased Vitamin D production, strong bones, healing skin conditions, and reduced cancer risks.
Education About the Beach or Water
An accessible playground allows children to explore the beach waters and the sand while enabling them to ease into a new and interesting environment.
The immediate vicinity also enables parents to teach their children about the beach, water, and surrounding areas.
Beach playgrounds are unlike traditional ones, such as those located in schools or parks. They do not have much grass or mulch and require minimal maintenance. It allows the kids to play as much as they want without fearing getting their clothes stained.
Sand Play and Its Positive Impacts
Sand is a significant part of beach playgrounds that encourages sensory play activities in children. It also allows the kids to feel the sense of touch and balance themselves while responding to how their body moves on the playground.
Controlled Water Play
One of the best reasons to install a beach playground is to play with the water in a controlled way. Many children are not ready to swim or dive into the ocean directly.
Thus, beach playgrounds enable kids to have fun with preschool playground equipment and the freedom to play in the water. It also helps them indulge in new physical activities and build social skills.
An Efficient Communication Medium
A beach playground is a perfect destination for kids to mingle with other children their age. It is also a fun, communicative space for family chatter. It enables them to share their skills, make new friends, and enjoy playful activities.
Thus, the playground becomes an indispensable gathering space for the little ones to enjoy their leisurely afternoons, weekends, or holidays.
Unique and Innovative Spaces
Most beach playgrounds are made by a commercial playground company well-versed in unique and innovative designs, themes, and imaginative concepts.
That is why the playgrounds become a one-of-a-kind experience for the kids and their parents and inspire them to visit again.
The Best Playground Equipment Supplier
Do you want to have a new beach playground near your community? We are a commercial playground company with experienced equipment builders who can help you build your dream space for kids.
We provide all kinds of commercial and preschool playground equipment that caters to the requirement of kids and enables them to enjoy their playtime at the beach.Then, why wait? Request your catalog now!
When do you think of a preschool what is the first thing that comes to mind? A micro-society, stepping stone, a second home, etc. The paramount connotation is of an arena for toddlers. With the adjectives as mentioned earlier, there is an extensive list of ways it caters to the overall development of its toddler. The playgrounds for preschools are an exemplification of a society instilling skills of adaptability, flexibility, group cohesion, and how to interact with peers of the same age group. With the right equipment, one can work on enhancing fine motor skills, gross motor skills, kinesthetic skills, and hand body coordination in toddlers.
An ocean of fantasy can be lived through a preschool playground equipment. Let’s explore equipment that will help your toddlers live that reverie.
Playgrounds for Preschools
Akin to the name, the sky builder comprises tall, enclosed decks with slides. The slides are made of non-slip steel and with a post and clamp system, making them safe for the child. The swift movement accompanied by the slight breeze on the child’s face is a one-of-a-kind experience. Climbing on the slide followed by an immediate rush and an exhilarating journey is what thrills the children. We have created distinctive parks with unprecedented designs. With its neutral colors and attractive appeal amidst nature, Nancy lane is an eye-catching and exciting escapade for children.
The equipment of max play is a single podium with different kinds of platforms that help kids reach the podium; slide, rope climbing, tire climbing, etc. With physical endurance, usage of gross motor skills, and adaptability to the different movements, it is a playful venture for the child. Also, with many platforms for reaching the podium, it allows more children to engage in physical activity and interact with each other by helping and observing how to get better.
A fit body is said to be home to a refreshed mind. Nowadays, with the change in our lifestyles, much importance is given to fitness. You can install a fitness routine for your child from the beginning with variegated colorful fun equipment like the Bermuda Triangle, Homezed Willow, Huizenga park, etc. Children observe their parents’ fitness regime and follow it in their life. Our NRG preschool equipment is the ultimate preschool playground equipment design for the exuberance and fitness of toddlers.
Our team curates structures mimicking the natural environment to originate adventure at its peculiarity. The idiosyncratic parks created by our team will give your toddler a confluence of urban amenities and nature. There are various themes under the umbrella category of NU edge. The aqua color parks with anaconda ride, Hickory Lane Play with different lanes like rope climbing, slides, etc., all offer a wonderful experience to the toddlers.
Those mentioned above are a few pieces of equipment from the wide array of playground equipment designs that we provide. Make a conscious choice to curate kids outdoor playground as it’s the first step in their development. Install a fitness regime creatively right from the beginning.
Selecting the best playground company for your installation needs is a significant decision in which you must consider many vital factors. School children aged between 5 to 10 years mostly use playground equipment. So, it is necessary to ensure that they do not get injured while playing with the equipment tools. Using low-grade equipment may lead to unwanted consequences, because of which you must do a proper analysis before selecting the company for your needs.
Thorough research will help you select the best commercial equipment companies in Houston. Here is a list of tips that you must follow before going for a playground company for your installation needs.
Evaluation of the existing equipment
You must run a thorough check of the pre-installed equipment conditions of the playground. All you need to do is check if it requires any replacement and repair. It will help you save money for buying extra equipment and offer an understanding of the required installations.
Understanding the elements
Multiple elements affect the purchase of playground equipment and its usage. You need to understand them before purchasing the installations. They are:
- Size of the playground
- Dimensions and layout of the playground
- Total number of children using the playground
- The age bracket of the children
- Special needs of the children and their parents
- Planning a budget
You must understand your budget and then your purchase accordingly. Finances play a significant role in deciding the playground company for your installation needs. You must get information about the available sources, and they will help you decide your final budget.
You must run a thorough background check of the playground company to ensure they give only the best quality equipment. The company must have ample resources and creative tools to satisfy the customer’s needs.
Checking the pricing
The pricing of playground equipment provided by the company must suit your decided budget. If it is not so and the finances fluctuate, it will not be possible for you to buy all the equipment. Lacking equipment may not prove fruitful for the playground. So, make sure to cross-check the pricing of the playground company before deciding to buy its equipment for installation.
Quality of the playground equipment
You will find various playground equipment in the market made with different materials. You must always check for aesthetics before selecting the equipment for installation. You need to analyze if they have some extra elements to grab the children’s attention. You can also ask for warranty and maintenance service to ensure all safety measures for the younger ones.
Experience of the company
Conducting a background check of the playground company will help you decide whether you will be purchasing equipment from them. A company with a good history and period of experience will understand your needs better and help you select only what is best.
Playgrounds play a significant role in the holistic development of children. They not only help them to learn and play but also enhance their social interaction skills. So, you must not compromise on any factors when selecting the best playground company for your installation needs.
Growing up, most of us had ample opportunities to play outdoors. Based on the results of independent studies, playgrounds rank high among children’s vital environments away from home. Playgrounds are where children grow in numerous ways and develop their social skills.
All children have benefited from greater access to playgrounds. A playground improves kids’ physical activity largely due to its presence. Safe playgrounds allow children to express themselves and be themselves in a fun, energetic way.
Over the years, playgrounds have evolved considerably. Planning a playground can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to begin. Throughout the planning process of a playground, several factors need to be kept in mind.
Playground planning: Things to consider
In addition to creating a social space, a playground is a great way for a community to exhibit its unique character. When planning a playground, it’s important to set clear goals at the beginning and then stick to them because planning a playground, from selecting an area to installing it, has never been so simple.
Consider what kind of playground this will be, as well as where it will be located. It should be appealing and accessible to all children. If you’re unsure of planning a playground, consider the following factors.
Start with a vision
Playgrounds can be used for years to come and complement a community’s character. You should take a moment to ponder about what are your ultimate goals for your outdoor space. Thus, your vision is crucial for creating the best design to ensure a safe and enjoyable playground.
Examine the site
Playground design is greatly influenced by the site characteristics, which include the combination of natural and artificial features. It is also important to think about the location when it comes to the utilization of the playground and the ease of accessibility for the community. An expert landscape architect can assist you in the site analysis.
Understanding the playground’s purpose is essential, and once you understand it, you can start considering the design of the playground. At this stage, prepare a design for the playground you want.
Choosing the right equipment for the playground depends on the intended audience. The development levels of children vary with their ages, as do the way they play. Several playgrounds tailored to kids under the age of 4 will not be appealing to teens aged 13 and older and aren’t necessarily the right size.
Number of children
In addition to playground users’ ages and abilities, planning your playground should also take into account the number of children who may use it at any given time since the playground can be flooded with children during school hours or can be used by fewer people.
Availability of space
Consider the space available for the playground when planning one. It can be a large area or a small space set aside for the playground. The area where slides and swings are usually surfaced tends to be larger.
Adding to or starting from scratch
You should also consider whether you are planning a playground from scratch or repurposing existing equipment before beginning or feature-enhancing while maintaining the old one. In a constrained space, it might be difficult to add to a playground.
Duration of completion
Haste makes waste. Planning and installation is a big deal which often takes more time than people anticipate. So, when planning to build a playground, consider the best time to open it. For monitoring progress, set small deadlines.
The playground budget will affect what you can and cannot do. To make your playground plans fit within a given budget, you will need to customize them. Plan your budget by keeping everything in perspective as there are numerous expenses linked to playground planning. Fundraising may be the best alternative if you can’t get financing.
Playgrounds that are well laid out and designed with safety and efficiency in mind can provide a beautiful and fun place to play. Their maintenance and care are crucial as a lot of effort has gone into its planning and creation. Maintaining it properly can prolong its life.
Taking the recommendations into account is essential for the care and repair of playground equipment. Regular testing is also necessary. Aside from this, to keep the playground and its surrounding park well-maintained, it can be beneficial to have weekly events like cleanliness drives.
Free play on a playground is a great way to encourage children to participate in healthy activities. Kids can develop and sharpen a variety of skills on playgrounds which includes a combination of physical, social, and emotional factors as it benefits not only your child but also your entire family. So, why just stay at home? When you can introduce your kids to outdoor games and participate in outdoor activities with them.
Summer’s here, and isn’t it the time to soak up the sun and play outside? Children prefer commercial and community playgrounds where they spend their time socializing. Setting up a play area might seem like an arduous task. But with the correct input, it is a rather exciting one! With this guide, learn to choose the right commercial playground equipment and install it perfectly.
Proper Equipment – How to Choose
Numerous factors decide the type of equipment one needs to purchase to install in the playground.
- Age Range: If you are planning on making the playground open to all children, you will be opting for diverse equipment. Or, you could go for age-specific facilities, if you have an age range in your mind.
- Location and Safety Measures: An area that is to be dedicated for a playground needs to meet certain specific conditions. For example, the ground should be leveled and debris-free. Preferably, this area must be away from any hazards.
- Type: Commercial playground equipment is either made of metal with plastic components or wooden structures.
You should also keep in mind the number of equipment, the surfacing of the ground, and your budget.
Installation of The Commercial Playground Equipment
Generally, there are two ways in which the installation is done. One can install the equipment by themselves or call for professional services and leave it in their hands.
Before you jump into the process and start installing the playground equipment, remember that the company from which you have bought the equipment will not offer any installation warranty. So, any risk during the installation process will be wholly on you. Also, ensure that you have all the necessary tools for the installation process.
A solid foundation is always vital to a play area. Ensure that the place you have chosen fulfills all the requirements that a children’s playground needs. To get the regulation guidelines right, you will have to consult the American Society for Testing Materials and the consumer product safety commission.
When it comes to heavy commercial playground equipment like the swing set or a slider, anchor them steadily to the ground. It is for the best if you anchor these in cement, as they tend to hold on rigidly. Follow the guidelines that come along with the equipment and set them up in the correct way.
Installation by Professionals
This way is the best choice when installing the playground equipment, as the professionals will be manufacturer-certified and experienced. They will possess all the necessary tools and will also clean up the area once the job is finished. You get the advantage of an installation warranty too.
Are you looking for a commercial playground equipment company in Houston? All Play Inc. is the perfect choice for you! Your kid’s safety is our top priority. Call us at (713) 939-9888 or drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and talk to our experts!
In our previous two blog posts, we kicked off our series “How to Plan a Neighborhood Park Your Community Will Love” by reviewing the basic principles of park design and strategies for building support among your residents.
Today, in the final post of the series, we roll up our sleeves and get into the project planning phase, where you’ll create the plan that will take you from “square one” all the way through to your opening day … and beyond.
Below we’ve given you some general guidelines for planning your park project, but this list is by no means comprehensive. If you haven’t managed a project like this before, you might want to consider hiring a consultant to help you get started and to provide guidance along the way. You may also want to look into project-management software applications, which make it easy to track your progress and keep all your documentation in one place.
Set Your Goal
Now that you have a clear concept of the park you want to build and have discussed it with your residents, the next step is to set your overall goal. Follow the lead of the best project managers and set a goal that’s SMART:
- Specific: Be very specific about what the end result of your project will be. How large will your park be? What amenities will be there? How will it serve your community? Who will benefit from it? What impact will it have on property values and demographics?
- Measurable: How will you know when you’ve arrived at your goal? What criteria will you meet? How will you measure your progress along the way?
- Achievable: Give the amount of time, money, and other resources available, can you and your team achieve this goal as you’ve defined it? If not, you might need to make some adjustments.
- Relevant: How will this park serve your community? Be sure to consider its impact in the near and distant future as well as the present.
- Time bound: When do you aim to have your park completed? It’s true that delays happen due to weather and other factors, but it’s important to have a completion date in mind. Remember, you can always adjust it if necessary.
Map out the significant achievements — the milestones — that will mark major steps in progress toward your goal. For your park, these might include preparing the ground, installing amenities, and completing landscaping.
Build a Deliverables List
Break down each milestone into specific tasks. For example, the milestone “Install Playground,” will include tasks such as applying for permits, selecting a builder, choosing a model, choosing the safety surfacing, scheduling installation, and other tasks. Be as specific and thorough as you can.
Build a Timeline
Now gather your list of tasks (you’ll have a lot of them) and build a timeline, keeping in mind that some milestones must be completed before work on others can begin. For example, you can’t build structures before the ground has been prepared, so build that dependency into your plan. Also, remember that contractors are not always available at the exact moment we need them, so consult your contractors to confirm their availability at the point in your timeline when their services are needed.
Get Started and Track Your Progress
Ready … set … GO! It’s time to start tackling those first deliverables as they appear on your timeline. Remember to always track your progress so that on any given day, you can tell exactly how far you are from achieving your goal. If delays happen (and they probably will), adjust your plan accordingly.
Once your park is complete, remember to celebrate your success! Even small parks are big achievements, so remember to reward your team, and schedule a grand-opening event to welcome residents to their brand-new space. Include fun elements like food, face painting, live entertainment, games for the kids, and more. Put up streamers, balloons, and other eye-catching visuals to serve as an invitation for everyone to come join in the fun.
Good luck, and happy planning!
In our previous blog post, we kicked off our series “How to Plan a Neighborhood Park Your Community Will Love” by reviewing the basic principles of park design and sharing some tips on choosing the amenities for your outdoor space.
Of course, a vital part of the planning process is collaboration with the people who will be using and living alongside the space day after day: your residents. Here are a few strategies for building — and keeping — support among your residents all the way through to completion.
To ensure support for your park, it’s important to involve residents as early in the process as possible. Remember that your initiative will impact everyone in the neighborhood — not just those who will use the space once it’s complete. Some of your residents, for example, might be concerned about how the addition will affect issues such as drainage, parking, and security. Be sure to address both benefits and possible challenges as you introduce the idea to your community.
Vary Your Approach
For soliciting resident input, remember that people have different preferences when it comes to how they express their opinions. Some prefer live “town hall”-type events, while others prefer the privacy of surveys. Make sure to incorporate at least two of the following methods in soliciting the opinions of the people in your community:
- Open meetings
- Focus groups
- Paper surveys
- Online surveys
- Phone surveys
Keep Them Posted
Keep your residents continuously updated on the progress of your neighborhood park project. You may want to start a Facebook page where you post regular updates on developments, delays, and your projected opening date. Encourage residents to follow the page so that they’re always in the loop.
In Part III of our series, we’ll talk about how to get your neighborhood park project buttoned up and ready to roll. Stay tuned!
New neighborhoods are springing up all over southeast Texas, and those that offer dedicated parks have an automatic advantage in attracting young, active families. If you’re still in the planning phase for your subdivision, think about including an outdoor space that gives neighbors a place to meet, to be active, and to enjoy the outdoors, with something for every member of the family. And if your neighborhood is already established, consider that adding a park will give you a competitive edge in enticing house-hunters.
In Part I of our series on planning community spaces, we’ll talk about the basics that every neighborhood park needs.
Park Design Basics
According to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, neighborhood parks typically fit the following criteria:
- Between ¼ and ½ mile from neighborhood houses
- Not separated from neighborhood houses by major roads
- Free from physical barriers that would prevent walking access
- Designed for all ages and all groups to enjoy
How should you allocate the space in your new park? In its resource Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Guidelines, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) recommends that about 50 percent of your park’s space be dedicated to active recreation spaces, including your playground. The remaining half can be used “for passive activities, reserve, ornamentation, and conservation as appropriate.”
Your playground equipment is just one of the many amenities that can make your park more attractive to residents of all ages, all year long. When choosing amenities, keep in mind the space you have available, the size of your neighborhood, the demographics of your residents, and of course, your budget.
The list of amenities to choose from is vast and varied; here are a few of the most popular options:
- Walking paths
- Benches and picnic tables
- Trash receptacles
- Fountains or ponds
- Dog waste stations
- Open fields for sports or other organized play
- Dedicated parking spaces
Of course, if your budget permits, more elaborate amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts are also attractive possibilities. Make sure you have an idea of the funds available before you come up with your amenities list and begin reviewing your options.
In Part II of our series, we’ll talk about how to work with the residents of your neighborhood and invite their input into the park planning process. Stay tuned!
Now that school’s out, the kids in your community will be looking for ways to spend the long days between family vacations and summer camp. All too often, they turn to sedentary activities like playing video games and watching TV (not to mention that most popular of all kids’ summer activities, sleeping late!) instead of more active pursuits. And without recess and school sports to keep them moving, this lack of physical activity can take a toll on their health.
Now is the perfect time to get the families in your community to say “yes” to a more active summer, for both kids and adults. And could there a better hub for these activities than your playground area?
Here are a few ideas to share with your community for ensuring a healthier, more active summer for all:
- For adults and teens, organize a morning “boot camp” at your playground that mixes calisthenics (jumping jacks, pushups, etc.) with more lighthearted activities such as wheelbarrow races.
- For families with babies and toddlers, start a moms’ walking group and designate a stroller-friendly path around your grounds. Each walk can end with a series of “mommy and me” fitness activities, like the ones on this list from Parenting magazine.
- For families with school-age kids, give out “scorecards” that let them enter a star every time they log at least 30 minutes of active play at your playground, and offer rewards at the end of the summer for kids who accumulate the most stars.
- Organize special events like kite-flying meetups, field days, and fun runs to bring families together in the spirit of healthy activity.
When planning scheduled activities, remember that we’ll be dealing with that famous Texas heat, so morning or early evening times are best to avoid the risk of overheating.
With a little creativity and some help in spreading the word, you can encourage the families in your neighborhood to enjoy the healthiest, most active summer ever … and have some fun at the same time.
Playgrounds play an important role in every child’s development. Whether you’re planning to build a new playground for your school, church, or community in the new year or want to expand and upgrade an existing one, budgeting is key. The planning phase is the most critical step in this undertaking, and you’ll want to pay close attention to the following areas.
The overall budget for a playground is generally determined by the number of kids you expect to play there at a single time. The rule of thumb for this is to allocate $1,000 per child in your budget. This is, however, not the case if you want to build a themed playground, which will be more costly. The age group of the kids you expect to frequent your playground will also play a role in your choice of equipment.
Safety surfacing is a must-have for any playground to prevent injuries from falls. The budget for preparing the site area and installing surfacing, such as wood and rubber, depends on the type of surface you want. Keep in mind that surfacing like engineered wood fiber requires maintenance over the course of the year, while rubberized surfaces require little or no maintenance, making it a cheaper option in the long run.
Amenities will attract more families to your playground, and of course these costs must also be factored into your budget. Consider whether you want to include benches, grills, tables, bike racks and other accommodations. Make sure the costs of amenities you choose fall within your budget and that they will appeal to the families in your community (think about demographics, ages of kids, proximity of bike trails, etc).
Another item to keep in mind when budgeting for your playground is the installation cost. This includes site preparation, surfacing and installation of the equipment. Depending on the site, additional preparation may be required when clearing the area for installations, which can increase your costs. Therefore, always ensure that you know the landscape and what will be required to prepare it for your playground.
Shipping costs for your equipment vary depending on the company you order from as well as their proximity to your location. The further away the company, the higher the shipping costs will be. Do some research and see if you can get the same materials and equipment from companies that are closer to you.
A few additional tips:
- Make sure all the right permits are in place before you begin your project.
- You can save on costs by choosing a site that is relatively flat and has good drainage.
- Account for the costs surrounding sidewalks, wheelchair-accessible paths, and good drainage if these are not already in place.
- Make arrangements for a storage facility in case your equipment arrives earlier than anticipated.
Yes, the world has greatly changed since the U.S. park system was created in the 1930s, but the importance of parks and playgrounds in the lives of American children has never changed.
Today some might question the need for more or better parks and playgrounds, based on their belief that children prefer video games and other indoor activities. But a new report released by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) tells us that nothing could be further from the truth. According to the 2016 report, an overwhelming number of Americans believe that parks play a vital role in the lives of their children, their communities and themselves. In fact, 7 in 10 Americans go to their local parks, and 4 in every 5 believe that our parks are worth investing in.
The report also states that despite digital transformation, demographic shifts, and change in the way both adults and children interact with each other, public support for local parks is at an all-time high.
The U.S. National Park Service sees further benefits of the national and local parks as well as children’s playgrounds. These outdoor assets are an important part of the America’s educational system, where children not only get to see and experience some of the things they learn in class but also pick up important social skills.
The NRPA report concludes that “besides the prevailing tight fiscal environment, Americans agree that local, state and national leaders need to dedicate financial resources to sustain and expand local park and other leisure facilities.”
So the next time someone offers resistance to your new or expanded playground plans, point them to this report and infographic, and remind them that the public’s passion for outdoor play is alive and well in America!
The evolution of playground equipment has spanned from welded-together pipes to the scientifically designed structures presently available in the market. Today’s playgrounds take a positive approach to providing children with creative play, enhancing their imaginations, and promoting activity and fitness. Here are a few of the design trends we’re seeing today:
1. Themed playgrounds
Themed playgrounds have become popular accessories for both parks and schools as the playground becomes less a collection of isolated features and more of a holistic learning ground. Whether it echoes a dinosaur camp or an enchanted castle, a themed playground gives facilities an extra sense of energy and make them favorite choices for most kids.
2. Natural playgrounds
If you’ve ever climbed a tree or rolled in a pile of leaves, you’ve experienced natural play. However, these activities are increasingly becoming outdated with the rise of the internet and video games. It’s for this reason that natural playgrounds and spaces are becoming popular: to break technology’s stronghold on kids’ imaginations and overcome what author Richard Louv calls “Nature Deficit Disorder.” Natural playgrounds provide kids with a place for imaginative play while encouraging them to reconnect with nature.
3. Inclusive playgrounds
We’re seeing more playgrounds that are accessible to all members of the community, including kids with disabilities and even grownups. Inclusive playgrounds are helping whole neighborhoods to become more active and healthy. Studies also show that kids who see their parents and other adults engage in exercise are more motivated to do it themselves.
4. Safety-first playgrounds
When it comes to playgrounds, safety is something that never goes out of style. Kids and parents are happier when the playground is safe, and the whole community benefits. We all know it’s impossible to prevent injuries completely, but taking the necessary steps to reduce the risk is important. Recreation managers are choosing safe surfaces, ensuring adequate shade, and selecting age-appropriate structures for their spaces.
As many recreational managers consider updating equipment and adding structures to their playgrounds, it’s important to remember that coming up with a theme to fit a new playground doesn’t have to be difficult. In truth, almost any motif can be a success; all you need is a little imagination and some creativity … and of course, a partner who can help turn your vision into a reality.