Buying new playground equipment is an important and exciting task. The equipment that you choose is going to be enjoyed by hundreds of children for many years, so it’s natural to feel a bit of pressure.
It may be a challenge but there are so many innovative designs to help that are also inclusive and have high safety standards. Seeking ideas from the local community or pupils is a normal process to follow, but ultimately it is the landscape and available space that will determine the contents of your playground.
Many public playgrounds are maintained and funded by a committee consisting of local volunteers. Fundraising for new playground equipment are normally raised through fetes, cake stalls, parachute jumps, sponsored events and grant applications.
Playground committees are essential in order to ensure that a playground remains open. Playground equipment is regularly monitored to make sure that it is in good condition and grass is regularly cut to ensure that the playground is a welcoming and safe environment. When it is time to purchase new playground equipment the committee becomes very active and the installation is a time to celebrate.
Most playground equipment is designed so that it is accessible to all, some pieces have been specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs and children who either have restricted mobility or are sensory impaired. The exciting thing is new playgrounds can mean fun for everyone, therefore, all of the children who visit the playground can enjoy playing together.
Playgrounds are much more versatile than they used to be and can incorporate many more play opportunities than in the past.
You need to remember that you can’t please everyone, but it’s very important that you speak to everyone in your community and get them involved in the project. It’s good to get ideas from others and you may come to realise that what you initially thought isn’t the best way to go.
Speak to play companies, in particular your Area Manager. These guys are the experts that do the job on a daily basis. They are very easy to work with and can offer some great advice and guidance because they know the industry inside out.
They thrive on giving you the best experience possible and delivering a play area that you is instantly in love with. If you’re not happy, they certainly won’t be!
The primary objective is to build a playground that is packed with exciting equipment, but another factor may be to choose play equipment that blends into the area or has a particular style.
Steel play equipment and timber play equipment have a completely different look and feel to it. If your site is in a rural area, then choosing big, stainless steel play equipment may look a bit out of place. You don’t have to pick one or the other, stainless steel and timber play equipment can look great together. Think about what works for your community and ask others what they think.
Arguably the most important point when choosing play equipment – it’s got to be fun!
You want your playground to be packed with affordable play equipment that has fantastic play value. However, you don’t want to simply pack as many items into your site as possible and hope that children love it.
Each piece of equipment offers a different challenge, with different activities, which help to develop different skills. Ideally, you want to have as many different activities to challenge children in a number of ways. This way, children won’t get bored of doing the same thing and parents won’t be able to tear them away from the playground.
Safety doesn’t mean boring. The world may be more safety conscious these days, particularly when it comes to children, but safety is an extremely important part of choosing your playground equipment.
All of your equipment should be tested and approved to BS EN1176 and carry the prestigious Kitemark Certification. This means that you can rest assured that the play equipment is designed and manufactured to the highest standards, and children can have the time of their young lives in a safe environment.
Keep these tips in mind and your new playground will be fantastic focal point for families and children in your community for many years to come.
Our Area Managers are the experts and would be more than happy to give you some advice on how to choose the perfect playground equipment. Find out who your Area Manager is on our Reference Map.
Watch this 3D animation of an example £50,000 play area to give you an idea of the equipment that you can buy for the budget.
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