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By: Shane Lanier

Here are some frequently asked questions from church leaders regarding their playgrounds.

Can we make our playground larger with a second phase after we raise more money?

Yes, most playgrounds are modular, meaning that they are designed to be easily assembled, repaired and arranged. It is simple to take off one or two components and expand the playground.

The platforms are usually 3'x3' or 4'x4', so it is very easy to do, given you have enough space. As long as you have enough room to support the extension of your playground, the ability exists to easily add a safe and fun area to your existing one. 

There are several options for what will be added to your playground and the layout. If you have an idea of what your final playground will look like after raising the money, your playground company can help you in deciding how much space and even money you will need.

Playgrounds tend to be budget-driven, so it is common to see the phases of the playground change with the success of fundraisers. 

How can we make sure our playground is safe for all age users?

Playgrounds are designed for kids of all ages. Some are designed specifically for 0-2, some for 2-5 and some for 5-12.

If you need a playground for children 0-12 there are integrated playgrounds for that. Within these playgrounds, usually seen in Sunday school classes and spectrums of that nature, is a designated area for the 0-2 age group.

The defining factor in these age based playgrounds is aspects such as fireman poles and the overall height of horizontal ladders found on the playground. The higher the playground, the less safe it is for younger children.

Regardless of the age group specified for your playground, your playground company will most likely have a design that will work perfectly to provide safety for all of the children using it.

How large of a playground do I need?

The area that you have set aside for you playground determines what size the playground will be. Every playground comes with a child capacity labeled on the structure.

You will first need to determine the number of children that will be using this playground at once. Defining how many children will be out at one time or how many children live around your future playground will be the factor that decides what your child capacity will be. 

It is important that you know this number in order to accurately pick the right sized playground.   Once you have this number, it will be given to the manufacturer. This number will determine your child capacity, therefore determining the size that your playground needs to be. 

Is adding a shade over the playground worth the extra money?

Adding shade to your playground is absolutely worth the extra money. The addition to your playground will not only protect the children playing on it, but parts of the equipment as well. 

One of the most important equipment pieces that it protects is the surfacing for your playground.  With upkeep and amenities such as shade, you can make your surfacing last longer and withstand the changes in climate. 

If you consider shingles on the roofs of houses, which are made from rock and tar, have warranties for 20 years, even these shingles made from the most durable material on earth have to be kept up. 

UV rays are strong and take a toll on your surfacing; making an investment in shading it, as well as your children, is always a wise decision. 

Shane Lanier is the owner of KORKAT, www.korkat.com.

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