Choosing the right equipment for your outdoor playground is only one part of what goes into making a truly unforgettable space. No matter how impressive the spiral slide is, your playground might not get repeat visitors if it’s not complemented by some other amenities.
Naturally, the amenities you select will depend largely on the surrounding environment near the playground. It’s not feasible, for example, to install a splash pad in an area with no plumbing. You may also not need to worry about providing bathrooms if the playground is part of a larger area, like a park or a school. However, including any one or more of the following amenities doesn’t just encourage more use of your outdoor playground equipment. It also makes your playground a welcoming space for families of all shapes and sizes.
1. A Picnic Area
In a world where fast food is easy, accessible, and cheap, many families end up swinging past a drive-through window on the way home after a day at the playground. There are other families who dread addressing the “lunch problem” when their little ones are both moodily hungry and unwilling to peacefully end playtime. Either way, the divide between playtime and the rest of the day becomes readily apparent as soon as it’s time to take a meal break.
Installing a picnic area, even if it consists of only two or three tables, presents a unique opportunity for these families to stay, enjoy a pre-packed, healthy meal together, and continue playing afterward. You’ll want to make sure to include trash cans so the area can stay neat and tidy, and if your playground observes a particular theme, you can customize your picnic tables to work within that topic.
2. Restrooms or a Drinking Fountain
If your playground is remote, and if you have the budget for it, adding restrooms and a drinking fountain is a great way to be sure that visitors to your playground will stay for hours at a time. It provides accessibility for those who may be unable to visit without a restroom nearby, and in the case of a drinking fountain, it’s a nice way to help make sure that your visitors will stay hydrated and comfortable. You will likely need to obtain some permits if you decide you’d like to include either of these amenities, so make sure you speak to the appropriate authorities in your area.
3. A Tennis or Basketball Court
Outdoor playground equipment like swingsets and slides are great for younger kids, but older children and teenagers may not find them as appealing. If you have the space to spare, give them a place to relax and exercise with a simple basketball or tennis court.
These amenities can also make your playground a destination for local teams for practice, earning your playground more attention and creating a positive effect on your community.
4. Plenty of Benches & Seating
When the kids are off playing, what are the parents to do? Minimally, you should always include a few benches in the design of your play area. If you want something a bit more artistic, consider making custom-molded benches or seats that enhance the design of your playground while still providing places to wait and relax. You’ll want to make sure that your benches are always clean and welcoming, and the material you choose for them can have a notable impact on their comfort.
- Wood – A popular choice for benches. They look good and wear well, although they will eventually need replacement.
- Metal – One of the easiest bench materials to clean and resistant to most forms of damage, they do heat up easily in sunlight, and so should be avoided in areas with little to no shade protection.
- Plastic – Easy to clean, available in a variety of colours, and surprisingly sturdy, plastic benches can be produced according to whatever specifications you require.
Make Your Own Amenities With SPI
With a fast turnaround time and an in-house design team, SPI Plastics is designed to make your visions into reality. We provide customizable rotational molding services as well as pre-made playground equipment for both indoor and outdoor spaces. When you’re ready to make your playground memorable, get in touch with our office to see how we can make it even better.
For more information on our outdoor playground equipment, give us a call at (519) 935-2211 or contact us online.