At MRC, we make it fun to design your next playground. Our goal is to provide you the absolute best experience possible throughout your playground design and installation process. By considering the information throughout the remainder of this article, you will be well on your way to building the playground of your dreams!
Step 1: Assess Your Playground Needs & Desires
Understanding what our customers are looking for in a playground is perhaps the most important step in designing a play area. In assessing your needs, our playground designers may seek answers to the following questions:
What is the overall size of your site?
How many children are you designing for?
What are the age groups of your children? Are they 2-5 years old? 5-12 years old? Both?
Do you want to build a ramped mobility device accessible playground?
Are you interested in a standard playground or a themed custom playground?
What is your estimated budget?
Step 2: Playground Site Review
To maintain a safe and reliable playground for many years, it is important to review the area where the play equipment will be installed. Our CPSI certified playground designers will meet you at your site to confirm your original measurements and to check things such as proper slope and drainage, amongst others. Once the basics have been covered, it’s time to select your playground equipment!
Step 3: Selecting Your Playground Equipment Design
There are many things to consider when choosing your playground equipment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends dividing your playground into two separate play areas. One of these would be designated for children between the ages of 2-5 while the other is for children ages 5-12. The overall size, height and challenge level involved with these two areas will be designed specifically for the age of the children intended to be playing on it.
A phenomenal source in assisting you to choose a design is the GameTime Design Guide. It is jam-packed with fun and exciting playground designs that children are guaranteed to fall in love with. Of course your MRC playground designer will walk you through the process and assist you in these decisions. After all, we do play…EVERY DAY!
Once you have selected your playground, you’ll need to select your color options. GameTime recently launched an amazing Color Wizard application to assist you in visualizing your specific playground in any and all color options available to you. This feature is second to none within the playground industry.
Step 4: Choose Your Playground Safety Surfacing
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), almost 80% of all injuries sustained from playground equipment come from falls. It is essential to select proper, high quality safety surfacing for your play areas to reduce any possible injuries.
Popular playground safety surfacing options include:
- Loose Fill – These surfaces, such as wood chips, engineered wood fiber, and shredded loose fill rubber chips are the least expensive option for safety surfacing. They are also the easiest to install. Although there are many perks to loose fill playground safety surfacing, this type of surface requires more maintenance to meet the impact attenuation standards of the CPSC due to settling and movement in high use areas of your playground.
- Poured in Place Rubber – These surfaces are available in multiple thicknesses and colors. We also have the capability to incorporate images or logos into the rubber. Poured rubber safety surfaces are durable and require significantly less maintenance than loose fill surfacing options.
- Rubber Tiles – Tiled playground surfacing, much like poured rubber, require minimal maintenance. The great feature of a tiled playground safety surface system is that they are manufactured in a factory under a controlled setting. Each of the tiles produced are identical, creating one of the safest options for any playground.
- Synthetic Turf – Synthetic grass brings the look of nature to your play environment. In playground applications, we include a cushion layer that also promotes quick drainage. After the grass layer is installed, infill is worked in among the blades to discourage blade flattening and help reduce surface temperature on hot days.
Step 5: Install Your Playground Equipment
We understand that playground budgets vary. For this reason, we offer several playground equipment installation options.
- Self Playground Installation – For organizations with an abundance of workers or volunteers, a self-installation or community build may be the best and least expensive option. We will provide you with detailed installation instructions to follow. Be mindful that the responsibility for proper installation falls on the installation group.
- Supervised Playground Installation – If you decide to take the route of a supervised installation, your group will install the playground under the direct supervision of a GameTime certified playground installer. You must provide your own tools, equipment & concrete.
- Fully Certified Playground Installation – This is the easiest and quickest method for playground installation. Certified installers can handle the site work and playground safety surfacing and all other aspects of your installation. This guarantees that your play equipment will be installed to GameTime’s specifications and safety standards.
We’re ready to bring fun to your community. Are you?!