Guide to Choosing Site Furnishings for Playgrounds

Choosing the right park accessories is a complex process. You need to consider all the must-haves, plus any extra amenities you’d like to include. If you need help getting started, use this complete guide to choosing outdoor site furnishings.

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Types of Outdoor Site Furnishings

Your park can benefit from various playground furniture, equipment and other comforts. Below are some commercial site furnishings to include.

1. Benches

Benches are a playground essential. When kids need a break from playing, or adults need a comfortable place to sit while supervising children, high-quality playground benches come in handy. You’ll find various styles, including modern and contemporary, traditional surface mount and swinging benches.

Multiple sturdy materials like recycled plastic, rib and perforated metal are available. With numerous types of backs, armrests and installation methods, you can easily find the ideal features for your property.

2. Picnic Tables

Picnic tables offer a spot for families to eat, relax and spend time together. Consider size and material when choosing picnic tables. They can take up more space than you might realize, so be sure to measure the installation area beforehand.

Try to match your benches and picnic tables for a cohesive look, coordinating their colors and materials. Picnic tables are also prone to crumbs, spills and stains from food and beverages. Choose smooth, easy-to-clean tabletops.

3. Trash Cans

Trash receptacles help maintain a clean playground by giving guests a place to dispose of cups, food wrappers and other items. Placing garbage cans throughout the park can encourage visitors to pick up after themselves.

You can also include recycling bins to promote sustainability. Label trash cans and recycling bins so guests can easily distinguish them. Post signs reminding people what they can and can’t recycle.

4. Bike Racks

Installing bicycle racks at your park has multiple benefits. It provides a convenient spot for visitors to leave their bikes, plus you can promote physical activity by encouraging people to bike to the playground instead of drive. There are multiple options such as one-sided, two-sided and stand-alone bike racks.

Consider the area you’ll be installing them in and determine how many bikes you should accommodate. If your park has walking and biking trails, try to install bike racks near restrooms. That way, bikers can take bathroom breaks without worrying about their bikes.

5. Grills

Grills are excellent amenities for your outdoor space, enabling visitors to cook food and host events. Covered grills don’t need protective shelters, as their lids offer protection from the elements. They hold in smoke effectively when cooking food. You can install most non-covered grills out in the open without a shelter. Carefully read the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you install your chosen grill safely.

6. Fire Rings

Fire rings are stone or metal structures that enclose campfires on the ground. They allow guests to cook food, host intimate gatherings and obtain light and warmth at night. When installing fire rings, follow your city’s fire safety guidelines.

7. Signage

Installing signs throughout the park can help guide visitors in the right direction, explain proper ways to use amenities and clarify rules and age limits. Consider signage for the following purposes:

  • Entrance signs to welcome guests
  • Parking directions
  • Signs with hours and rules of conduct
  • Signs differentiating between recycling and trash receptacles
  • Instructions for safe grill and fire ring use
  • Historical markers
  • Trail signs and markers
  • Maps and map holders

How to Choose Playground Furnishings

Here are three tips to remember when choosing park amenities.

1. Consider the Purpose

First, establish your park’s intended purpose. Perhaps it’s in a residential area with lots of kids, near an office building or part of a community fitness center. Every park serves a different purpose, so naturally, each warrants distinct amenities for guests to reap its full potential. By identifying your outdoor space’s objective, you can determine its most relevant furnishings.

2. Determine Your Audience

After determining your park’s purpose, ask yourself who will use the amenities. For example, a playground with benches would likely draw parents and younger kids. If your park includes paths or trails, bikers, runners and dog walkers will frequent the site.

Teenagers might prefer athletic fields, courts and nets. Older adults and seniors may benefit from low-impact wellness areas with recumbent bicycles, climbing stairs and overhead presses. You should also plan for Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards. Consider the target audience and what amenities would most appeal to them.

3. Think About the Future

Finally, look to the future. Is your park a temporary or permanent site? Is its location on grounds prohibiting grazing or bulldozing? If you’re constructing a playground, does the area have lots of younger children? Will the neighborhood remain safe and family-friendly?

By addressing potential variables that could affect your park, you can ensure a worthy investment and a space people can use for years to come. These considerations can also help you choose site furnishings. While temporary amenities are less expensive, permanent infrastructure allows for long-term use and enjoyment.

If there will be opportunities to upgrade or expand the park someday, leave room for these modifications and consider how everything will come together.

Other Tips for Choosing Park Accessories

Below are some other crucial considerations when investing in outdoor amenities.

1. Set a Budget

Your budget will determine the types, materials and number of park amenities you can install. If you have limited funds, rank your desired accessories in order of importance.

Maintenance is another critical expense to factor in. Choosing more affordable brands or materials may initially keep you within your budget, but you also need to account for their long-term maintenance requirements.

2. Choose Colors and Materials Strategically

As we mentioned earlier, selecting cohesive furniture colors and materials can enhance the look of your outdoor space. You should also tailor these details to your target audience.

For instance, vibrant primary colors are particularly engaging for younger kids. Senior citizens might enjoy calming hues like blue, green, turquoise or white. Consider how your color choices will blend with elements in their natural environment, such as trees or flowers.

3. Create an Inclusive Space

While you might have a general audience in mind for your outdoor space, accommodate all visitors as much as possible. For instance, your picnic tables and cluster seating should allow wheelchair access. Benches with backrests and arms provide additional support and comfort for older adults or people with disabilities.

When installing playground surfacing around furniture, it should accommodate strollers and mobility devices, maintain ADA standards and meet local guidelines. Some other inclusive playground additions are accessible slides, swings, ramps and ground-level play activities.

Choose Playworld for Commercial Site Furnishings

At Playworld, we offer an array of comfortable and durable outdoor site furnishings. Our selection includes picnic tables, benches, grills, signage, bicycle racks, recycled plastic receptacles and more. We’ve proudly helped communities furnish their parks, schools and other organizations for decades.

Whatever the goals and vision for your park, we’ll help you achieve an inclusive space catering to a wide range of visitors. Contact us to learn more about our site furnishings or request a quote today!

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