Building playgrounds for children is an important job. However, it can be difficult picking out equipment that all the children will enjoy. Here are some tips for selecting the right playground equipment.
Consider the Expected Age Group of Your Playground Users
Before you research playground equipment, make sure that you know how old the users would be. For instance, daycares usually consist of toddlers and preschoolers. They need smaller equipment than 9 to 11-year old children.
Research Playground Equipment for All Ages
Remember that the equipment that is safe for older children will not necessarily be safe for younger children. Also, older children are probably not interested in most of the equipment that appeals to younger children. Toddlers and preschoolers will find amusement with smaller climbing equipment that includes stairs. Older children will prefer bigger and faster equipment, like swings and slides.
Imagine Yourself in the Children’s Shoes
If you do not have children, you might struggle to understand why some children do not seem to enjoy certain playground equipment. To solve this problem, imagine the ways you would have reacted to the equipment as a child. Would the equipment have bored you? Would the equipment have hurt you? Imagining yourself in the place of a child might require you to think back on your childhood interests and experiences.
Imagine Yourself in the Parents’ Shoes
Remember that parents are looking out for their own children’s best interests. If you have children, remember that other parents might have children with different needs. If they give you an explanation about why some equipment might be inappropriate for a given age group, respect that. Some of their feedback might actually make sense.
Assess the Size of the Playground
If you have some playground equipment in mind, make sure you check the allotted size of the playground. This way, you will avoid spending the time and money buying equipment that takes up too much space. If a playground already exists, take measurements of all the equipment. Knowing the exact amount of space the equipment occupies will help you determine how much space you should use for new equipment. Also, take the space between equipment into consideration. After all, you will have to spread out the equipment throughout the playground.
Research Other Parks in the Area
If you have tried all the strategies above, gain some more inspiration by researching local parks. Take some time looking at their equipment online and make sure you know the age range for all the parks. If you happen to walk past a park, make a mental note of the equipment that seems popular for certain age groups. Then look up the desired equipment online and at stores to find out if they fit into your budget and desired playground size.
Find Equipment That Will Enhance Child Development
Instead of just finding playground equipment that seems popular for children, consider how the equipment will benefit children’s development. Since toddlers are learning to walk, choose equipment that will help with that. For instance, a small mat with colored circles will motivate them to walk from one circle to another. For older children who are developing strength, build a large ball pit so they can exert every muscle trying to climb out of it.
Think About the Durability of the Equipment
After you have a long list of playground equipment ideas and their prices, research the weight of the equipment and the material it is made from. In customer reviews, there should be a category about the rating for durability. If many customers gave positive feedback about certain types of equipment, you can probably trust that the piece will last a long time. Looking at reviews and assessing the material for your equipment will help you rule out the poor options and find high-quality equipment.
Consider Uncommon Playground Equipment
If you still have playground space and money left in your budget, consider adding some equipment that children may be unfamiliar with. This could enhance the reputation of your playground construction company. Again, when you shop for this equipment, make sure that it will not take up too much space and that its durability will make it likely to last a long time.
Remember To Include Playground Boundaries
Playground borders help children identify playground boundaries. Choosing durable borders will ensure boundary clarity by staying in place. Before you decide on rubber, wood, or plastic borders, consider the location. For indoor playgrounds, rubber is the best choice because it is less likely to move. Wood borders surround many outdoor playgrounds. Choose a border high enough for children to see, but not so high that they might trip over it. Also, place borders away from trees and equipment. This will make the boundaries easier to see, and it will make the playgrounds easier to clean up.
Find Equipment and Borders That Fit Your Budget
Now that you have some equipment and border ideas in mind, go through your company’s monthly budget on playgrounds for the last three to six months. Then go through all other expenses such as the repair costs and see how much money you have left over to spend. Knowing this will help you during your search for affordable equipment. When you research equipment prices, make sure the average price for each piece is decent. Read the reviews to find out if they are worth the price.
Although this list of tips for selecting the right playground equipment might seem overwhelming, your search will make much more sense once you start using these tips to find the right equipment.
This article is courtesy of Discount Playground Supply, which offers high-quality, American-made discount park and playground equipment to communities across the country, www.discountplaygroundsupply.com.