Your Simple Guide to an Affordable School Playground in 2023

School playground with boat, blue and beige surface.

If you’ve landed on this page, it’s quite likely that you’re pondering on creating an entertaining and engaging affordable school playground. You might even be wondering about the cost of such a project. Well, you’ve come to the right place! This comprehensive guide aims to break down the process and provide you with practical tips on how to make your playground project both cost-efficient and fantastic.

Easy Ways to Keep Playground Costs Low

Building a playground might seem a hefty expense, but it doesn’t have to be. A crucial first step to keeping costs down is practical budgeting. A well-planned budget should ideally divide the total cost into three equal parts: one-third for surfacing, another third for design and site preparation, and the final third for the playground equipment itself. This balanced approach ensures that no single aspect of the project consumes your entire budget. Now, let’s delve into some strategies to help you save:

  1. Use Recycled Materials: Repurposing materials can save you a considerable amount of money. It also sends a powerful message about the importance of recycling to the young minds that will be using the playground. Play spaces should be a place where children can learn and have fun, so keeping it sustainable is one of the great ways of doing that.
  2. Choose Less Expensive Equipment: You’d be surprised at the variety of fun, budget-friendly equipment options out there. A simple swing or a traditional slide can bring just as much joy as more costly alternatives. Another way of doing it is contracting local companies, locally crafted equipment is usually cheaper, and you will be helping the local economy.
  3. Keep the Design Simple: Focusing on a few high-quality play items can result in a cost-effective yet engaging playground. This minimalistic approach can enhance the play space’s functionality and aesthetics. Design and build playground companies like Creo can design spaces that can maximise simplicity with play value.
Instruments for planning an affordable school playground.

Designing an Affordable Playground

A smart design can be a powerful tool to reduce your playground cost without compromising its appeal or functionality. When planning the design, keep the needs of your students at the forefront, and consider the following pointers:

  1. Make the Most of Your Space: Utilise your available space effectively. An efficiently designed playground doesn’t need to be sprawling to be fun. Many playgrounds out there only pack many features but with not a lot of play value. Mixing surfaces, surroundings, and equipment suitable for your students are key features to use your space to have great value
  2. Work with Nature: Maximise the use of natural elements in your design. Trees, for example, can provide much-needed shade on hot days, while naturally occurring slopes can offer a fun and challenging terrain for children to play on. Combined with design and original ideas, it can add value, learning and fun for your students.
  3. Prioritize Multi-Use Equipment: Opt for equipment that allows for various types of play. Modular equipment such as log jams can have many users at the same time, and they have many features in it.  That can help your designing an affordable school playground.

Building Your Playground on a Budget

After finalising your design, the next step is to get building! Here are some strategies to save money during the construction phase:

  1. Use Modular Equipment: Playground modular equipment can be a lifesaver when it comes to saving both time and money. As mentioned before, you can adjust and have the features you need in your play space. And in the future, they are easily upgradable.
  1. Look for companies that add value: There are many playground companies that specialise in a few things. They can be more costly in the long run, as they won’t be able to handle your full project. When you hire a design and build company, they can keep your costs down and make sure that your project meets your budget from the get-go.
  1. Ask for Donations: Funding is of the most crucial parts. Getting donations and community engagement can add more value to your affordable school playground. If you are in an area where the children come to play in your space after school time or on the weekends, it may be worthwhile to reach out to the community and ask for their support. They can also offer valuable input for ideas that can help you design a better playground.
Top view of a school playground

Extra Tips for an Affordable Playground

Think About Accessibility: When designing your playground, remember to accommodate all children. Accessible and inclusive equipment may require more investment initially, but it ensures that all children can enjoy the playground equally.

Maintenance: A well-maintained playground lasts longer, meaning you’ll spend less on replacements or significant repairs. Regular safety checks and timely touch-ups, such as repainting, can prolong the life of your playground.

Sometimes considering a higher start price might lead to long-term savings on your school playground.

Creating an affordable school playground may seem daunting, but it’s entirely possible with creativity, careful planning, and community involvement. Remember, your goal is to provide children with a safe and enjoyable space to play and learn.