How To

Steps to prepare for your new playground

Determining the targeted age group for the equipment:

  • Playground equipment is developmentally designed for a variety of age groups (6-24 months; 2-5 years/2-12 years; 5-12 years; 13+ years). Make sure to include age appropriate equipment for all users of your new play area.


Determining the capacity of the play area:

  • When considering the desired amount of play equipment, make sure to think about how many children will be playing on the playground at a time. This will also be helpful for determining the amount of supervisors needed.


Determining a budget for your play area:

  • Be sure to allow for all potential costs of a new play area (equipment, freight, surfacing, and installation). The Play4 All team welcomes the opportunity to help you determine budget allowances.


Where should you locate your play area?

  • Determine where the play area will be located:
    • Is the area flat?
      • Ideally you would like to locate your new play area in a fairly flat space.
      • A slight slope (1%-2%) is acceptable and may help improve drainage.
    • Are there any existing obstructions?
      • Overhead utility lines, underground utilities, tree branches, manholes/catch basins, rocks, sidewalks, etc.
      • Any nearby ball fields where something like a baseball could enter into the play area?
      • Be sure to contact your local underground utility location service before you perform any excavation or dig any footings.
    • Any sight line considerations?
      • Your new playground should be located in an area which allows parents, supervisors, etc. a clear view of the playground users as they move from event to event.
    • Drainage considerations:
      • It is important that surface water drains away from your new playground.
      • Existing gutter downspouts, catch basins, sprinklers should be accounted for and adjustments may be required to keep excess rain/water from entering into the play area.
      • Consider utilizing drain tile or creating swales to help divert excess rain / water.
    • Safety considerations:
      • Your play area should have sufficient separation from potential hazards like streets, driveways, ponds, pools, etc.
      • Consider adding fencing, sidewalks, and signage to help create a safe play area
    • Shade considerations:
      • Any existing trees to provide some shade/relief from the sun and warm temperatures?
      • If not, you may want to consider adding playground roofs or a shade structure.
    • Determine the elevation of the playground border and surfacing:
      • Above the existing grade: (add a drawing and examples?)
        • The top of the border and resilient surfacing will be installed on top of the existing ground level.
        • Users will most likely be required to step up into the play area.
        • Consider removing any existing grass, weeds before beginning the installation.
      • Below the existing grade: (add a drawing and examples?)
        • The top of the border and resilient surfacing will be installed at an elevation equal to the existing grade.
        • Users will be able to step directly into the play area. Ideal for users with mobility challenges.
        • Requires existing soil be removed prior to the installation of the play equipment.
        • Drainage considerations may need to be addressed.
      • Will your new play area require removal of existing playground equipment or other items?
        • Be sure to completely remove the equipment and any concrete footings.
        • Backfill and compact any hole created during the removal of the footings.


Installing your new play equipment:

  • Your Play4All playground equipment will require assembly (which may require concrete footings). Easy to follow installation instructions will be provided giving you step by step diagrams for a successful installation. If needed, we also have a network of installation crews available to assist with the assembly of your equipment. Please contact us and we will provide additional information and pricing.


Choosing a resilient surfacing and border for your play area:

  • Selecting the appropriate resilient surfacing is an important step in the process of completing your new play area. Play4All can assist you with choosing a surface which is certified and meets the all applicable playground industry standards (including accidental fall impact attenuation and wheelchair accessibility). Depending on the surfacing you select, you may also want to consider adding a modular plastic border timber to contain the surfacing.