Planning Guide - Parkcraft

Process to build a playground



Consult with Relevant Authorities and get permission to proceed.


Create a group/form a committee

Keep the number of decision makers (1-4 people)

Create a general structure on responsibilities.


Survey the people impacted by the new amenities

  • How many people will be using the structure?
  • Any specific inclusivity needs? (I.e. mobility, sensory, behavioural, etc)
  • What age groups are you catering to? And in what proportion?
  • Concerns of people in close proximity. (I.e. excess height, excessive noise)
  • Other environmental concerns (I.e. transient population, known vandalism concerns, extreme temperature and weather)

Begin looking at Playground Supplies

Research by asking municipalities, school boards, and community groups who they’ve used in the past and establish a preliminary list based on good recommendations. Tour playgrounds in your area, watch how your kids enjoy other parks. Use the web to assist in searching for providers, be sure to review playground companies past the paid ads. Interview the playground companies and their representatives. Establish who you feel comfortable with. Select your top 3-4


Develop your parameters

Determine the parameters to give to suppliers (suppliers can help you with this process):

  • Site size available
  • Age groups
  • Equipment wish list (You can establish this with your little users, or in your committee)
  • Surfacing preferred
  • Equipment restrictions (due to your survey, authority research, or personal preference)
  • Border type.
  • Drainage requirements. (don’t skip this step)
  • Scope of work. (ie. Everything you want done, what do you want your project to look like when it’s done, is someone donating material or labour for some of the process?)

Consult with a Grant writer/Research

Your committee can research grants, establish fundraising goals, reach out to contacts for private donations, and establish what your authority will assist with. Your committee can use a professional Grant writer. If you need reliable Grant writers, we can connect you. Establish a rough budget. You can see the grants list here


Supplier Budget Quote/Designs

Get your shortlisted suppliers to develop a Grant Budget Quote/Design together for comparison.Be sure to supply every supplier with identical information and when questions are asked for clarification be sure to share this with all parties to ensure you can compare the submissions accurately.Establish a deadline for suppliers to supply proposals.Once you’ve reviewed your playground proposals you may select your preferred supplier to move forward with, or can shortlist a few.Be transparent.Use the proposal to assist the Grant writer and/or application.Consider adding a contingency of ~10% as pricing change year over year.



Engage in fundraising activities. Playground fundraising can be a fun and rewarding endeavour for schools, community organizations, or local governments looking to improve their recreational facilities. Here are some creative fundraising ideas to consider: Community Fun Run/Walk, Dance-a-Thon, Auction and Raffle, Car Wash, Themed Dinner or BBQ, Yard Sale, Sponsorship Opportunities, Crowdfunding Campaign, Art Show, Penny Drive, Community Talent Show, Pancake Breakfast, Lemonade Stand Challenge, Brick or Tile Sales


Order your playground

Most companies require a deposit to get it into its manufacturing queue. Anticipate lead times of 8 weeks – 30 weeks depending on many factors, consult with your provider to get this information ahead of time.


Fine Tune your Design

Work with your supplier to make your playground perfect.Fit it into your budget and your original/updated parameters if required.Request a rough schedule of the project.

planning ground illustration

Schedule the Project

  • Be proactive, and time your playground delivery to coincide with a preferred installation time. (I.E. schools ideal time to install is July / August, depending on northern climates your installation window may be short “May-October”)
  • Be sure to have a construction expert or project manager assist in scheduling the construction tasks. (Parkcraft can assist you in this)
  • Some pre-playground activities include:
    • First call and private locates
    • Safety fencing
    • Creating access to the playground site with construction equipment.
    • Playground demolition
    • Excavation
    • Border installation
    • Drainage
  • Some post-playground activates include:
    • Resilient Surfacing installation
    • Third Party playground inspection** (Be sure to budget for this)
    • Soft landscaping
    • Construction damages repair (sod, concrete, asphalt)

Plan for the Grand Opening!

  • Be sure to invite everyone that was involved
  • Relish the moment, enjoy the kids having a blast
  • Look at you, you did it!

If you followed our process and it worked, we like compliments, if you did and it didn’t? We like improving, help us out!