Commercial Playground Equipment Planning Guide:
Budget And Playground Essentials
Your guide to planning your next outdoor playground!
Investing in new commercial playground equipment — whether you’re a school, religious entity, daycare, HOA, or city park — is a big undertaking, not only financially but figuring out the needs of your space.
Where do you begin and how do you plan for new commercial playground equipment?
Don’t haphazardly plan your next outdoor playground and instead get more insight into some considerations that will make everything come together expertly!
At MVP Playgrounds, we are your resource for commercial playground equipment for kids of all ages and abilities. Follow along with us today as we help you get the gears turning for planning your new playground.
Planning Your Playground
When it comes to playgrounds there are more considerations than just how many slides you’ll need! You have to budget and plan to create an outdoor playground that fits your needs.
Playgrounds go beyond the old-school ones of the past that sported merry-go-rounds and monkey bars — playground design has luckily taken a turn for the better as they’ve approached safety and inclusivity as being the forefront of new designs while keeping in mind the social and cognitive development of kids. Curious about this topic? Check out the post we wrote about play and development.
Many of the names have changed (forget merry-go-rounds and monkey bars) and new playground components have been added to create a place for children of all ages and all abilities to explore fun while engaging in their socioemotional development — it’s a win-win for everyone!
The takeaway for all new playground planning is fostering a space where kids can have fun while stirring and engaging other developmental milestones.
Below we’ll dive into some factors to consider when it comes to making your new commercial playground dream a reality!
Before we get started, we’ve linked a couple of our frequently asked playground planning questions for you to explore!
Understand Your Budget
Money is always the first thing to consider when you’re investing in new commercial playground equipment — you have to know what you’re working with! Knowing your budget will help you determine where to start looking and how to plan for your new outdoor playground equipment!
What’s great about MVP Playgrounds is that we have a variety of commercial playgrounds that fit within most budgets. We have smaller playgrounds that are around $4,000 and larger, more extensive playgrounds that are an upwards of $25,000. You can always assess what you think will fit the needs of your space and save or raise the money needed accordingly.
While money is what you need to budget, how do you know what to budget for? Do you simply do an online search and buy from the website first? Not always! You want to make sure you’re getting what you need and that the playground is high quality, durable, and safe.
A commercial playground is not something you close your eyes and pick out — it’s a process you want to be involved in from the very beginning of the planning stages to the installation!
To budget efficiently you need to know a little more information about what you need, so let’s start the playground planning process and examine some questions and considerations when it comes to building an amazing space for your kids to play!
What playground elements do you need or want?
We’ve written extensively on playground components and have compiled the ultimate guide to help clarify what they are and how they can be implemented. If you’re just beginning to plan your new outdoor playground, we suggest you start here!
Once you have a better understanding of the playground components you can begin the playground planning process. It’s important that you choose a playground that the kids will enjoy — creating a fun, exciting, and engaging playground is a must. After all, you don’t want a playground that gathers dust (and dirt and debris).
Which brings us to another vital point to cover.
Know Your demographic!
This is a fancy way of saying that you know the kids that will be playing on the playground — this can really help dial the playground components you’ll want to add.
Are a majority of your kids older and would they have more fun on larger slides? Or, maybe you have kids of all abilities and want to focus on ground level activities that all kids can have fun on. At the end of the day, it’s important to carve out a little time and think about the kids who will use this playground equipment, and if you’re not sure, ask for some help taking inventory.
How do I create a playground for all ages?
Aside from knowing your demographic, this is another basic question to consider when you’re planning an outdoor playground.
Age-appropriateness of the equipment will make a good playground great!
It’s important that the components provide relevant challenge levels to not only foster fun but to support developmental skills. So, if you have a broad range of kids, look for a playground with multiple slides and slide heights such as:
It’s also important to look for a variety of climber options or ways to access the different levels of the playground.
In the same vein of taking age-appropriateness into consideration, it’s also vital to plan a playground that is inclusive to all abilities.
All of MVP Playgrounds have ADA compliant components, but you can always look for playgrounds with a higher ratio of ground-level activities to address the needs of your community.
What do I do with my current playground equipment?
If you currently have a playground it’s important to note on how you’re going to work with it — will you expand the area with your new playground, or will you remove the playground that is currently there?
The first thing to do is to get it evaluated to ensure that it’s still safe and meets all the accessibility standards. If it doesn’t meet current safety and accessibility standards, you will need to have it removed before you install the new commercial playground.
Elements To Consider Beyond Your Outdoor Playground
A large part of planning your playground is not only the playground itself, but it’s also what’s around it such as playground landscaping and playground surfacing. Let’s explore these factors more below.
While this doesn’t play hugely into the fun the kids will have, it can impact the space and even the wear and tear.
One of the most important things to consider is keeping the landscaping around the perimeters of the playground and not within the playground. When the landscaping is on the perimeter not only is maintenance more accessible, but there are no safety hazards of kids running and tripping over small shrubs or trees.
If you decide to put landscaping around the outdoor playground area, you may want to steer clear of large trees. Yes, they are amazing and provide great shade coverage, but their maintenance can be a burden. Not only do you have to factor in when they lose all their leaves in the fall, but also limb and branch maintenance.
If you’re looking for effortless playground landscaping, traditional grass and small shrubs and bushes are a fail-safe option.
Playground surfacing is essential to the safety of your commercial playground — it’s the part of the outdoor playground that helps cushions falls, should they occur. There are many options available including rubber and wood chips, and we’re here to help guide you make the best playground surfacing decision for your community.
Know that we’ve covered playground landscaping and surfacing, let’s cover some more common questions.
How long does the playground installation take?
Many are eager to get their playground off the ground and ready for the kids, but really there isn’t one answer for how long it will take. It all comes down to the site we’re working on and the complexity of it — the install may exist in a couple of stages.
Perhaps you have to remove an old, outdated playground or inquire with local government about any permits or playground approvals you may need. Each step takes time. You’ll then have to ensure the playground landscape is prepared and your playground surfacing is ready to go.
More Thoughts On Playground Planning!
Playground planning is arguably the most important element when it comes to investing in a new commercial playground. There are so many facets that cover playground planning and in today’s installment, we touched on budget and playground components to consider.
We get that this is a lot of information so we’ve broken the steps to planning a playground and have put it in a series for you to better navigate, so stay for additional playground planning content!
If you’re in the market for a new commercial playground for your daycare, school, HOA, or church, we have a wide variety of the leading outdoor playsets that not only provide hours of fun for your kids, but are made from high-quality materials with safety in mind.