Playground planning part 5: Equipment selection

When selecting your playground equipment, one of the first things to consider is the primary intended users of the playground: the kids! If you can get kids together and have them assist in putting together their dream playground, do it. They’ll be excited to help, and you’ll know the equipment will get plenty of use! If that’s not practical, you could hold some focus groups and show differing layouts and get some feedback. There are many types of equipment for your consideration.

  • Structures: These make up the biggest investment, typically. Consisting of ramps or stairs to several decks, at different levels, with multiple slides, climbers, and other activities, they provide play space for many users at once.

  • Freestanding: These can be swings, slides, spring riders, climbers, gliders, or any equipment not attached to a structure.

  • Fitness equipment: Give adults something to do while the kids play. Kids can enjoy working out as part of playtime as well!

  • Inclusive: These items can appeal to kids of all abilities, and encourage interactive play for all, such as our Miracle Ten Spin pictured below, or some Percussion Play items, also below.

  • Shade structures: If no natural shade is available, these can offer a place to rest and cool off after strenuous playtime activity.

  • Site amenities: These include items such as benches, waste receptacles, bike racks, and more.

Take the necessary time to research your intended user base and select equipment that will encourage lots of use. Few things are more satisfying than seeing a group of kids giving a new playground a good breaking-in!