Church Playground Equipment: Important Questions To Ask
Investing in church playground equipment is a great move! Having playground equipment helps moms and dads hang out after the service in peace as the children play.
While some of these questions will tie into my Church Playground Equipment Safety Measures Blog Post, this list will hopefully help you avoid drama within your church and have a great experience.
“Where is the playground going to be located?”
This seems obvious, but the location is a very important safety factor. Parents will feel nervous if it is too far away from the church. It asks for trouble if it is too close to the parking lot. Also, having the playground out of clear lines of sight is not a good idea.
Choosing a location that the parents are comfortable with is important. There may be some louder voices saying this location is better than another, but you need to filter them out to hear what the parents are concerned about. Their children will be using the playground, and if mom and dad do not feel at peace, then the playground may sit empty.
“Who is responsible for child safety?”
You can explore this idea more in-depth on my Safety Tips blog post, but this question is critical. Before the playground is installed, the church should have fully discussed who is responsible for maintenance, how the children will be monitored, what the rules are, and what to do if a problem arises.
While I do not want to deal with fear-mongering, we live in strange times. It is far better to be overly cautious, especially when the safety of your children and your church’s reputation is on the line. Above all, if something happens on the playground, ensure it gets reported to the proper authorities.
Doing things like installing a good fence, having proper lighting, and assigning Sunday Monitors will go a long way in preventing accidents.
“Will the community use the playground as well?”
This one can catch people off guard. Parents with kids will want to use a nice, beautiful playground.
Deciding your stance on people using the playground on non-Church days is far better. Are you good with anyone using it whenever? If you are, there are several things you should do, such as making sure to display proper age ranges, playground rules, and “Use At Your Own Risk” signs.
This is a good question to ask those responsible for your liability insurance. Knowing what you plan to do ahead of time will help determine the fencing, lighting, and security you will use for your playground.
While you must do what is best for your situation, I would encourage you to consider using your playground to bless the local community. It would foster goodwill if the locals know anyone could use the playground.
“What does my liability insurance, operation guidelines, etc., require for certification?”
The big question here is whether you need a commercial-grade playground or can use a residential-grade playground. While King Swings offers both types, it is on you to do your research to determine which you need.
The main difference is that commercial-grade playgrounds are built to meet ASTM codes and can pass an inspection. Often, your liability insurance will require your playground to meet those codes.
“Does our budget include lighting, security, fencing, etc.?”
While it is easy to discover the cost of a playground, what can drive the cost up is suddenly needing to add things to the project.
Thoroughly planning out every detail will help you stay on budget. Are you going to install lights around the playground? If so, who is going to do that? What about a security system? Who is going to install that?
Of course, depending on the skills of your congregation, you may be able to do a lot of this on church work days, but making sure you have a cost and plan for every single item before moving forward puts the project on solid ground.
“Are there any local city ordinances or regulations we need to know?”
I can’t stress enough the need to do your homework. There may be city regulations about all playgrounds need to be accessible and inclusive. A little research saves a lot of frustration.
This list is not exhaustive; it is meant to be a little spark to get you started. Listed below are more questions that you should be answered before starting a playground project.
“How are we going to raise funds?”
“How are we going to prevent vandalism?”
“How will this affect our insurance? We will need to get additional coverage?”
“What age range should the playground be built for?”
“How many children will typically use it? What is the max number of children? (Think summer VBS or an event where the number of children spike)”
“What playground surfacing should we use?”
“What are the rules/expectations for children when using the set? For teens of the church and the playground?”
Answering all of the above questions will help prevent drama later on. If this is helpful, you can compile your questions regarding our playgrounds and email them to us. We can carefully explain each answer so you can return to the committee with all the knowledge.
Also, feel free to download and print as many of the spec and info sheets as you need. We tried to make all the information as easily accessible as possible. Slapping down a folder filled with all the relevant info sheets will help speed up the planning process and make you look like a superstar!