Playgrounds are an extremely important part of childhood development. They provide the much needed physical activity, mental capabilities and relationship building skills that every child needs to learn and grasp in their young years. They provide the kids with the fun, fresh air, exercise and growth that cannot be provided with books and classrooms.
Playgrounds need very careful planning and execution. Depending on the purpose of the playground, you need to take into account a lot of things that will go into making a fully equipped, functional and well maintained playground.
Below are some steps and tips to help you through the process of building a playground for children whether in schools or elsewhere.
- Funding and Budgeting
Setting up a playground is not cheap and doesn’t have to be too expensive either. You need to allocate a specific budget to the playground requirements which will include everything that goes into making a playground fully functional. Starting from basics like gardening requirement, kids playground equipment, teenagers’ playground equipment etc. The budgeting will also include installation costs, maintenance costs, other preparation costs, any taxes you might have to pay for constructing a playground etc.
- Playground Permissions and Guidelines
There will be different guidelines in different cities for playground set up. Make sure that you consult with the appropriate authorities, get all the permissions required and the paperwork needed to set up your playground. Make sure you are following all the accessibility guidelines that have been stated by the law for a playground set up.
- Spacing and Mapping
Once you’ve got the money and the permissions cleared out. Move on to the space of the playground. Chalk out areas of the playground and dedicate each area to a specific purpose. For example, you will want to dedicate a specific area to children’s play area, a separate area for jogging or walking for elders, some water fountains, washrooms etc. This spacing and mapping needs to be done keeping the target audience of the playground at the center of playground planning.
You will also have to keep in mind the budget allocated for each purpose and then go about mapping the playground. To get an idea of budgeting for playground equipment in Australia, get in touch with companies providing playground equipment and take an estimate.
- Installing and Maintaining the Playground
The final step to setting up a playground is to install the playground and all its equipment and maintaining the playground. You can opt to get a team of professionals to install the playground equipment or you can get a team of volunteers to help set up the playground. It’s very important that the playground equipment be well fitted and installed because it’s a matter of safety for the children who will be using it.
Once the playground equipment is installed and ready to use, then comes the step of maintaining it regularly so that it is in good condition for use and lasts longer. You can hire a team on contract for regular maintenance of the playground equipment, which will include its oiling, cleaning, repairs and replacement.
You will have to assign a portion of funds for the maintenance of the equipment as well, so make sure when you’re calculating the budget and allocating funds, you take into account the post-installation maintenance of the playground and its equipment.
Playgrounds are a great and healthy source of giving children the adequate exercise that is required for their physical development, challenges for mental development and the perfect opportunity to mingle with other kids and develop their social abilities. While all these are provided to the children at a playground, it then becomes more important to ensure their safety and security at these playgrounds. So make sure that once your playground is set up and ready to be enjoyed by kids, you test it for all safety and security measures.