There’s nothing quite like seeing a child’s face light up at the sight of a playground. A simple set of monkey bars and a jungle gym offers a world of delightful possibilities in the eyes of a child and watching your little one explore it is one of those finer things in life. If you’re hoping to surprise your family or neighborhood with a playground, then this article can give you some steps to aid you in the process.
Get Expert Advice
Building a playground is a big project to take on even for the experienced builder. There are many aspects to consider, such as the layout, materials, play options, and more. It’s always a good idea to get the advice of someone who knows a lot about modern equipment designs and can get you up to speed on the latest regarding all things playground-related. Call a playground consultant to determine if you have the skills and resources to build a play site on your own or if you’d prefer to hire a professional.
Decide on the Location
This is the second thing to consider because it will determine a lot of things. For example, if you’re building a neighborhood playground, then it will need to follow city compliance laws and safety regulations and will undergo a more thorough building process than if it’s being built in your backyard. Your backyard playground will still need to adhere to safety regulations, but it will not need to be evaluated by a professional unless you choose to do so.
Gather the Troops
Because building a playground requires so many resources and skills, it’s always useful to recruit some help if you can. If you’re building a neighborhood playground, then discuss with the community the challenges you might face and see who can assist with each obstacle. It’s also quite expensive, so maybe a fundraiser or donation fund could get booted into action from a town meeting.
If you’re building a playground on your own in your backyard, then consider getting the opinion of your children. Get their ideas on the type of playground they would build for themselves if they could. They might actually give you some creative ideas!
Determine Your Budget and Add up Costs
Gather your finances and decide on how much you’re willing to spend. If you’ve gotten donations or funding, then you’ll need to decide on whether or not you’ll use the money to buy building materials or use it to hire a professional. Hiring a professional will definitely cost more, but it will ensure that the playground is completed in a reasonable amount of time and that it follows all safety regulations and city compliance laws.
Make It Inclusive
Regardless of where you build your playground, you’ll want it to pique the interest of kids of all ages and abilities. The unfortunate part of most playgrounds is the fact that most of them, while ADA is compliant, are not inclusive to children with disabilities. For example, while there might be equipment for children with special needs, there might be terrain that isn’t accessible for children in wheelchairs. Do your research about how to ensure that all children can enjoy your playground.
It’s always a good idea to aim for a set up that will appeal to all ages. It’s a better playground when the whole family can join in. Also, if you’re building your own playground, you’ll want something your kids will enjoy for several years rather than just one or two.
Choose Equipment and Design
The equipment and layout of your playground is the most enjoyable part of this process. There are infinite possibilities out there for playground equipment, and all you really have to do is decide on your budget and pick a manufacturer that produces styles you like.
You’ll want to have a variation of equipment so that it’s inclusive and offers different play options. Climbing, sliding, and swinging alternatives are always important aspects of design, but it’s always important to have stationary play areas as well, such as a place with blocks or a sandbox.
After you complete your playground, make sure you get a professional safety inspection. This will come with a fee, but it will save you the cost of heartache and doctor bills for injuries that could come from hazardous equipment.
These are the basic steps to building a playground, although they are certainly not the only things you might personally want to consider. Depending on your children or neighborhood, you may have more choices for design and equipment, which will always come with more preparation and calculations. Remember to always keep safety first and to have your playground inspected after completion.