Sovereigns Guide To Buying Playground Equipment

Sovereigns Guide To Buying Playground Equipment

When it comes to planning and building a playground, it’s fair to say it’s no easy task. In fact, many are shocked to discover just how difficult and in-depth it can actually be.

There’s a great deal to consider such as:

  • The budget and costs
  • The age group that will be using it
  • Even the developmental aspects it can offer in the space you have available

To help make your playground planning a little easier, here’s our very own guide to buying playground equipment and planning your own space.

Step One - Planning

This is without a doubt one of the most important parts. Without a thorough planning process, you could end up hugely over budget, without the right items for your particular space and a playground that lacks a good flow.

Every single aspect needs to be considered properly:

  • Look at the age group you’re catering to
  • What you want them to benefit from
  • How you want the playground to feature in their day to day life
  • You should also consider how much you have to spend and space you have to work with too

While it may not be possible to cater to every single want and need, it’s important to list them down and then decide which are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves. You’ll then know where it’s possible to compromise and where it isn’t.

Step Two - Budget

As with anything in life, budget is key. If money were no object, life would be a whole lot easier but unfortunately, budgets are a key factor for virtually everyone, especially nursery settings who rely on government funding and attendance fees.

When discussing your budget, you should also consider whether your budget is there to cover the playground equipment alone or installation too, as this will determine how much you can spend on equipment and how much you need to hold back to finish the project professionally.

If your budget needs to increase, it may be worth holding some fundraising events where possible or better yet, apply for local funding.

Step Three - Look At Your Space

Now you know how much money you have to spend, it’s time to look at the space you have available and what you can do with it. It’s hugely important that you look at all available space and make the most of every single square foot.

Having a team of people who have a great deal of knowledge in this area is extremely helpful. Here at Sovereign Early Years, this is something we can help with, by showing you how best to utilise the space you have as it’s an area in which we’re very experienced.

We’ll show you what you can do with your budget and your space, ensuring you get the maximum benefit in the most affordable manner.

Step Four - Zoning

Zoning is very similar to spacing however it looks more at the equipment you’re using, rather than ensuring equipment is placed in such a way that allows for maximum fun. Zoning focuses on creating different areas for different play.

  • This is something that can be done with coloured flooring
  • Even use foliage to break up areas and essentially zone off and divide certain play equipment

Whether this is to divide climbing equipment from swing equipment or to divide age appropriate equipment is down to you and your intention for the playground as a whole.

Step Five - Choose Active Equipment

Getting children to be more active is one of the top priorities of a playground as the CDC recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise each and every day for children.

Therefore choosing playground equipment that encourages this activity, whether it’s sports focused or not, is imperative.

To really make the most of your space, look at multifunctional equipment such as climbing frames with ladders and bars, or equipment that allows children to reach for new heights, literally, through steps and jumps and even swings. Physical development play toys and equipment are essential for every nursery.

Step Six - Choose Social Equipment

Make sure that your equipment doesn’t just provide a platform to play upon but actually provides a platform to socialise too.

Play should be encouraging for everyone, regardless of whether children are from the same social circle.

Providing areas that encourage children to sit or play together is super important, just as it is to ensure that the playground equipment is accessible for anyone to use without interrupting the flow of play for one group by another.

Step Seven - Make Your Design Accessible

Accessibility is key when it comes to inclusive play. Ensuring no child is left behind and ensuring that equipment is laid out and spaced correctly to make it accessible for all is incredibly important.

This is another aspect in which our team will be able to expertly advise you, to ensure no child is left out or struggling to reach certain equipment. We’ll help you achieve full-360 degree play.