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How to Plan and Design a Commercial Playground



Planning and designing a commercial playground might sound intimidating, but it can actually be done quite easily by following a few simple steps. When you work with Cunningham Recreation, you’ll have our professional designers, artists and engineers on your team. From ADA requirements to inclusive playgrounds, from design to installation, we are your complete park and playground solution.

Here are seven simple steps to follow that will help you plan and design a beautiful and welcoming commercial playground.

Step 1. Define Your Goals.

Think about what you want your playground to do, beyond providing kids with a safe space to play. Do you want it to bring the community together? Tell a story of the community’s heritage? Encourage more fitness and activity?

There are many ways to make your playground unique, but it helps to know what you expect from the project. From water play components to educational activities, there are many ways to achieve your goals.

Step 2. Know Your Limitations.

Too often, clients dive right into their playground vision without knowing their limitations. Before picking out playground equipment, make sure you know the following:

  • How big is the outdoor space? Where is it located?
  • How many children will be using the space at one time?
  • What ages and abilities will be using your equipment?
  • Is there a specific theme or color aesthetic you prefer?
  • Do you plan on adding other amenities like park benches, picnic tables and shade structures?

Step 3. Determine Your Budget.

Playground equipment is an investment, so it’s important to keep your budget realistic. And, don’t overlook the importance of safety surfacing, installation and maintenance. These costs are just as critical as the equipment.

Cunningham Recreation has ways to help you save on your playground project, so don’t hesitate to ask about our budget-friendly options. There are also a number of funding resources and grants that can help make your project more affordable.

Step 4. Assess the Space.

You always need to know what space you’re working with, along with its topographic features, climate and nearby areas. This will determine how big your playground can be, as well as where the equipment needs to be placed. The better you understand your space, the better you can create a playground that fits its natural surroundings.

Step 5. Pick Your Equipment.

Once you go through the above steps, you can start picking equipment for your playground. Today’s playground equipment goes far beyond slides and swings and includes sensory equipment, expression swings, interactive equipment, obstacle courses, rope, nets, ziplines, playhouses and more.

Step 6. Choose Your Amenities.

Aside from the playground equipment, you also need some amenities to make your space comfortable. This will attract more people and encourage families to stay longer. Playground amenities include benches, picnic tables, trash cans, drinking fountains, shade structures and picnic shelters.

Step 7. Install and Build.

Now that everything has been selected, it’s time to move forward with the actual execution of the project. Cunningham Recreation has been building and installing commercial playgrounds for decades. We can clear and level the site, prepare the necessary drainage, and build retaining walls, before installing the playground equipment and surfacing material. We have extensive experience in playground construction and project management. So leave it to us!

Once your playground is built, we’ll do a final walkthrough to make sure that everything meets your expectations. To start planning your playground project, contact Cunningham Recreation today!