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School Playgrounds: How to Plan, Install, and Maintain

playing together

Tap the power of your school playground as you hone child development in a fun and safe manner.

In the face of rediscovering the importance of allowing children to spend more time in playing, school playgrounds come back in the picture of honing early childhood learning alongside all levels of child development. Playground equipment are no longer seen as a waste of time, space, and efforts that are taken by schools, as they are spaces where real-life children's social interaction and skills are first tapped and tested. However, school administrators are experiencing hurdles in figuring out how to make the most of these fun educational play sets with the budget and other resources that go along with planning, building and maintaining their playgrounds.  What must school stakeholders look for if they want to get the best for their school playground budget? How will learning institutions be able to plan and execute their play spaces without having to worry about this long-term facilities?

Begin Your Plan With the End in Mind
Assess the goal of building your school's playground. Look into the profile of the students in as far as their ages and abilities are concerned. Since issues on obesity and autism are facing the children of American today, planning your play space in such a way that they address these challenges. Well-planned play systems also pave the way to turn these alarming statistics into opportunities for every child's more holistic growth and development. Pinning down your institution's population along with the available area for the playground is also a favorable and logical starting point since every playground equipment could only house a number of kids at once.

Plan Around Your School Playground's Area
To make sure that you have all your bases covered, plan your play space with the area that you have in your school. Working with your available spot might entail you to check on the climate in your region, the soil, the area's existing trees and other vegetation, the drainage, along with other vital factors that will affect your school playground project. Setting the foundation of a play space not only determines the number of kids it will be able to serve. This also determines the lifetime of the playground equipment  with minimal cost of ownership.

The Power of Planning with Parents
To increase your school's rapport and synergy with parents, involve them in the planning stage, too. You may even rouse them to contribute their resources to this project. Getting them to volunteer not only lifts some load of your back as it also builds a parent-teacher relationship that goes beyond structured meetings. Parents, after all, are always yearning for ways to give their children the best education they can access. Involving parents also morphs a school playground project to a community-building opportunity.

Get Set with a School Playground Budget
After you have pinned down the goals along with other major and minor considerations, the most crucial element for this project to unfold lies largely on the school playground budget. A rule of the thumb in play systems is to allocate $1,000 to every child who would be playing in it. Suppose you have 30 students, the budget that you might want to look into is $30,000.  This may be overwhelming at first glance, but you may break down the cost and spread it in three years, for instance. While it might seem practical to cut down the cost due to the other budget allocations, distributing the said cost will bring in more value for students who not only have a good time while playing, as they are learning during their downtime, as well.

If your school caters to toddlers and older kids, set aside a budget that will enable your school to provide separate play systems for kids to accommodate the capacity of that they have in as far as their ages are concerned. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) highly recommends that educational institutions must have playgrounds for infants and toddlers ages 6 to 2 years old, preschools from 2 to 5 years old, and finally, school-age kids in the age range of 5 to 12 years. Since budget is usually a constraint among starting and established schools, you may want to look at playgrounds that cater to a wider age range of schoolkids.

Play sets like the jungle treehouse-inspired Un Be Leaf Able play set allows children from 2 until 12 years old to have a productive and enjoyable playtime. It is also an ADA accessible play structure. For the price of a little over $22,000.00, a school could already cut its playground cost without foregoing the accessibility to a playground for kids of all ages and abilities. More so, it is big enough, yet still compact; hence, incorporating it with the school available space will not be much of a concern.

For schools that are catering to preschool kids, the Child Center Play System line gives you play spaces that are not only budget-friendly, as they are built to match your school population and size. There are 6 different sizes that are carried by the Child Center Play System  which range from $1,999.00 to $7,499.00. Preschools with steady or growing demands can benefit from the Child Center Play System 6, the biggest, and all-in-one preschool playspace. Apart from the usual slides and climber, this preschool playground equipment also comes with a tic-tac-toe panel for play-infused math lessons and a kid roof that protects kids from harsh sun or sudden drizzles.
climbing fun

The size and available space for preschool playgrounds must be  a top priority.

During the budget phase, look at the amount that is incurred in a playground's lifetime. Do the materials of your chosen playground equipment come with a reliable and worry-free warranty? Are the installers reputable and professionally recognized by play equipment associations? What are the costs of inspection, maintenance and repair? Is it something that your school can manage? School playground equipment are long-term assets that are not suppose to turn into your institution's liabilities. Remember, schools must keep fun and safe play on one page at all times. Reducing unnecessary and avoidable playground-related inconveniences must also be part of plotting your cost estimate in your budget, too.

Creative Meets Critical: School Play Set Design
Since kids of all ages generally choose screen time over active play time, educators must put time and effort in making these play sets appealing and welcoming. Since recess time and free play are yet to be weaved in the routine of kids in school, you must go the extra mile to let them appreciate such forgotten creative and critical play spaces.

Presently, themed play has been proven to stir the minds of school children as they gain access to a world that is far beyond their structured academic schedule. Parents and educators are seeing the detriment of disallowing kids to go outdoors and simply get busy while letting kids explore the world without rules nor boundaries. More so, spending time outside without having to get a high score nor giving the best answer calms both parents and their children at absolutely no cost both on the pocket . Themed play inspires school children to think beyond the box, and outside the walls of their comfortable homes and classrooms.

Your themed school playground design must marry function and form. Themed playgrounds that give school children the key to a new,exciting voyage. The Adventure Galley which can be customized according to your school color your preference  morphs kids to storytellers, explorers and history makers  during recess  or after school. While  themed playgrounds are priced higher than conventional or traditional play systems, an hour of  free  themed play gives kids of all ages a much deserved break from their stringent,stressful, extremely busy academic lives. More importantly, such school playground design holds a good number of kids at once due to its enormity, so it gives your $41, 028.00 school playground budget its much deserved justice.

Practical Saving Tips for DIY School Playground Installation
To achieve the perfect and reliable look of playgrounds with more creative designs like that of the Adventure Galley, professional playground equipment installers must be on call to be able to ensure that each bolt and nut would be able to deliver fun, free and safe play for every school kid. Installing your school playground must come with all checks coupled with double checks to ensure that kids of all ages and abilities will not be part of the growing number of playground injuries. Installation is also the time for rounding up parent volunteers again as this is one of the highlights of a playground project.

For schools that are leaning toward budget-friendly playgrounds, installation costs can actually be your bargain. To meet the needs of these schools, the complete Play Simple Digamma set could be easily installed by parents, school personnel and even school administrators. DIY playground installation definitely gives more savings on top of its $17,855.00 cost. You get to actually build a child’s dream with your own bare hands and with all the care  as you and parent volunteers experience a sense of pride and joy in the process. While getting the hang of installing your school playground, getting consultations and supervision is still very much needed from a professional installer followed by a safety check professional inspection.

Day Care Playground Installation for Indoors and Outdoors
Day care centers are gaining momentum in the recent years.  For starting  child centers, flexible playground learning equipment are highly recommended. Early childhood education begins with allowing infants and toddlers to play while they encounter their many firsts. Infant and toddler playgrounds encourages this age group to crawl their way as they interact and react to their surroundings.
Big Outdoors System

Installing this flexible indoor and outdoor playground for infants and toddlers is easy as 1, 2, 3.

The Big Outdoors play set is not only meant to stay outdoors as  this $2,690.00 play equipment is collapsible and could be taken right inside your center, too. No need to worry about getting extra hands to make an playground installation possible. Installing this easy-to-assemble and rather compact play set gives young kids a multisensory experience as they inch their way to a path that resembles a backyard.  While  infants and toddlers work their way on their first playground, they are able to fine-tune their motor skills without them knowing it.

Maintaining School Playgrounds: A Life-Long Learning Equipment
Maintaining a playground is tantamount to the cost of owning it. Supposing you have gotten the best playground supplier, you no longer have to be troubled as you are guaranteed a worry-free after sale service. Reputable playground equipment bet on their offerings and go to the length of giving a 100-year warranty on certain parts their playground installations. Since play sets are  subject to serious work as school children indulge in free, unstructured playground fun time, damage due to man-made and natural deterioration are big possibilities. It is very crucial that you take time to read the fine lines in every playground equipment quotation that you request for.

Remember that warranties are forfeited when damage is due to misuse, vandalism, modified parts or damage such as dents, scratches, weathering and normal wear and tear, ergo part of maintaining a school playground is making sure that you instill discipline in spite freely roaming and indulging in your play space.  Parent volunteers could even take time to overlook the playground as they ensure that the playground is not only well-kept, but also maximized for the benefit of kids who want to learn while having fun. For the best solution for your every budget and every need, get in touch with our representatives and see how one well-planned, well-installed, well-maintained play space can make a difference in the lives of your school’s children in every aspect of their development.

Learn about the author: Jennifer Holmes