Playground Planning Guide

Playground Planning Guide

So, you’ve taken on the responsibility of planning a playground. Good for you! This will be a fun project with results that can not only be visited, but will be enjoyed and loved by your community.

But where do you begin? Before you begin to feel overwhelmed, give yourself a pat on the back for finding this guide. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to planning the perfect playground.

Step 1: Determine Your Budget

Even if you’re not 100% sure what your budget is, or if it could change depending on whether or not you get that grant you applied for, having a budget in mind is the first and most important part of the planning process.

With one, it allows our design specialists to ensure that the equipment that we propose will fit within the parameters of your project and we won’t have to start over.

Again, even if you don’t have a fixed number, our team will gladly work with you to propose options that fall into different ranges, providing you with flexibility.

Once your budget is decided, you’ll need to figure out what portion of it can go towards the playground equipment. Questions that we’ll ask you include:

  • Do you need to remove an existing structure?
  • Do you need site prep done?
  • Do you need installation?
  • Do you need surfacing? What type would you like to use?
  • Do you need additional furnishings?
Step 2: Find The Perfect Location

Once you’ve settled on a number, the next question is where will this playground be going?

Will it be a new space or be replacing an existing park? Is it on a hill, in a field or on a parking garage? Do you have wiggle room when it comes to the size of the playground, or do you need to stay within a
certain area?

One of the many benefits of Dynamo’s equipment is that we’re not limited to placing equipment in a flat box. If your proposed site in on a slope, is long and skinny, or is irregular, it’s not a problem for us to design with that in mind and find equipment that brings big play value and works with your space.

If you have CAD of your space, send that to us, and our designers will be happy to build your options within it. If you just have a sketch of a rectangle that is “this big” by “that big”, that works too.

Step 3: Identify Your Users

Once you know where it will be going, the next step is figuring out who will be using this playground. Is it next to the local primary school? Will it be going near the teen center? Are you trying to meet the needs of every age group in a development? Figuring out the age ranges that you need to accommodate will go a long way towards helping you choose the right equipment.

You’ll also want to consider making your playground accessible to users of a variety of abilities. At Dynamo Playgrounds, we believe in creating inclusive play opportunities for all children, no matter their age or ability, that gets them playing together.

Accessibility should also be kept in mind when you are deciding on the type of surfacing that you would like to use.

Step 4: Imagine the playground of your dreams

Now that you have completed the first three essential steps, here’s the fun part. It is time to let your imagination run wild! Your ideas for your dream playground become our next masterpiece.

We are continuously growing, innovating and remodifying all of our playground equipment to challenge the ordinary concepts of playground play.
Head over to our Dynamo Design Studio and take a closer look at the sketch process and 3-D model mock-ups that our design team comes up with just from your initial idea.

If you can dream it, we will find a way to build it.

Step 5: Establish Your Timeline

So, you know how much you can allocate towards this project, where it’s going and who’ll be using it. Great! The next step is establishing your timeline. When is this playground supposed to be unveiled to
the public?

You’ll want to work back from that date to ensure you have enough time to:

  • Communicate your vision to our team
  • Allow our designers to work their magic and create some layout/equipment proposals
  • Share the options with the community/your client/your team
  • Return to the design process (if needed)
  • Confirm the design or proposed equipment
  • Process the order (Will it be purchased directly, through a purchasing program, go out to bid?)
  • Allow us to manufacture your equipment
  • Permit transit time
  • Install the equipment
  • Certify the site
  • Open the playground to the community!

By having a good idea of when it’s due to be delivered, we can establish a working timeline and ensure that your project is on track every step of the way.

Step 6: Get In Touch

Once you’ve figured out your budget, your location, your intended users and your timeline, it’s time to reach out.

Maybe you’ve already got some ideas swirling around, and you just need to iron out the kinks. Or, maybe you haven’t got the slightest idea of what you’d like to see, but you’d love to hear some suggestions.

Our experienced team is used to working with all kinds of styles, from the very hands-on to the hands- free. If you let us know your answers to steps 1-4, we can figure out an action plan that’s right for your project. We might recommend one or two pieces, or propose a multi-game park layout. We might offer you one design to meet your budget, or we might give you a few options that meet a range of price points.

Our whole goal is to work with you from start to finish, and beyond in order to create the perfect playground.

Don’t feel overwhelmed by the task that lies ahead of you. Feel excited, because together we’ll build something spectacular.