Playground Planning Guide

We will help you create an amazing playground!

Planning and building a playground can be a complex task, but our representatives would be happy to help you navigate through the process.  Whether you are creating a new playground or updating an existing one, our planning guide will help you assess your play area, determine your needs, and create a design that all of your visitors can enjoy. The planning checklist below outlines some of the things to start thinking about in regards to your playground. Contact us today and let the dreaming begin!

Define Your Objectives

Envision your play area. A great playground provides maximum play value and safety for visitors while minimizing the lifetime cost of owners:hip to you.


  • Which members of the community could or should be involved in the planning, funding or installtion?
  • Are there unique historical characteristics , a color scheme or theme you’d like to incorporate?
  • Why are you planning/updating your playground?  What do you hope to accomplish?
  • What is your target installation date or deadline?
  • Start outlining your budget. How will funds be secured? Do you need to consider additional fundraising?  Request a Landscape Structures grant guide. Be sure to budget for all related costs, such as:
    • Site Prep
    • Surfacing
    • Installation
    • Playground Equipment
    • Future Maintenance
    • Phased Additions
    • Building Permits
    • Freight/Tax
  • How many visitors on average will typically be playing at one time?
  • What are the ages and abilities of the visitors who will use this play area?
    • What is the child age distribution?  How many 2-5 year olds?  How many 5-12 year olds?
    • Do you have any important considerations (e.g. accessibility, children with special needs, etc.)?
  • What additional amenities, such as shade, benches, or restrooms, should be considered?
Analyze Your Site

The characteristics of your site, including both the natural and man-made elements, impact your playground design. You can work with us or your landscape architect to analyze your site and make the most of the design, installation, user satisfaction, aesthetics and maintenance.


  • Consider entrance points, existing shade,and traffic patterns.
  • Consider existing or future permanent structures, such as; paths, walls, fences, landscaping. etc..
    • Incorporate existing vegetation, especially mature trees, into your design.
    • Allow for the expansion of new vegetation as it grows.
    • Is the vegetation safe for children and pets?
  • Consider the slope and soil conditions of your site for proper drainage.
  • Where will the playground be installed? Consider access to amenities such as parking, distance to the play area, seating, bicycle paths, shade and rest areas, restrooms and security.
  • What is the size of the area? Be sure to allow enough space for visitors to move about, rest and relax.
  • Check with your local utilities to locate water, sewer and power lines.
  • How will the climate patterns affect the playground? Consider wind, temperature, sun angles, and precipitation in your design and play ground orientation.
Design Your Playground

After thinking though your playground vision, it’s now time to design an exciting playground that will meet your needs. You will participate in a design session with us and a Landscape Structures playground designer.

Design Considerations:

  • What specific play events would you like included (e.g. slides, climbing, overhead events, play panels, etc.)? You’ll want to include a variety of play components to allow for a wide range play opportunities.
  • Are you interested in a composite play structure, independent play elements, or a combination? Add freestanding play events such as spinners, swings and seesaws. Incorporate educational elements such as learning panels and signage.
  • Would you like your playground to look modern, blend into the environment or carry out a particular theme? What color scheme are you envisioning?
  • Select materials that will work well with your climate, user needs, and local environmental requirements. Consider maintenance and manufacturing timing when selecting materials and equipment.
  • Design future phases to make it easier to enhance your playground and keep it exciting and fresh for users.
Choose Your Surfacing

Make playground safety a top priority! You can reduce injuries by installing a shock-absorbing playground safety surfacing.

  • Which safety surface are you considering?  Explore our surfacing section for some basic information on each of your options.
  • What is the maximum fall height you would like on your playground?
Plan Your Installation

Installing your playground is exciting and can involve your community members. A benefit of including the community is that it creates a sense of pride and ownership, and reduces future vandalism.

  • Who will be doing the site prep work and installation?
  • Would you like to use a an insured and Landscape Structures-certified crew, volunteer installation with supervision of a professional installer, or a combination?
  • You might have the site professionally prepared and then have volunteers help assemble the equipment, followed by a professional inspection.
Now Celebrate! Enjoy and maintain your playground!

When your playground is ready for public use, host a grand opening party to thank all those involved in the process. Your playground should last for many years to come. Consider regular inspections and proper maintenance to ensure it is safe and comfortable. We have customized maintenance kits for each playstructure purchase.