Factors To Consider When Designing a Daycare Playground

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A lot goes into planning a daycare playground, but Park and Rec Pros is here to make this process as easy as possible. Let us know your budget and what you have in mind, and one of our professionals will help you choose the best products for your preschool playground! You can individually select a playground structure as well as freestanding play components or opt for an all-in-one playground package.

To help you start thinking about your daycare playground, here are some of the most important factors to consider.


How many children will be using your daycare playground? Because there are staffing ratios to follow, it should be easy to estimate how many children will be using the playground at any given time. Make sure your playground can accommodate your class sizes while offering plenty of space for safe play.


Decide how you want the layout to look while keeping in mind the manufacturer’s specifications. There needs to be enough room in between play structures so that they don’t interfere with one another. Usually, 6 feet is adequate, but you will need more space for moving equipment like swings.

Age Appropriate Equipment

Daycares typically serve kids under the age of 5, though some have after-school programs as well. Be sure that all equipment is appropriate for the age group. Kids can do very different things at 5 years old than they can at 2 years old, so it’s best to separate your equipment based on age.

For instance, kids under 2 years are learning and discovering the world around them so generally bright colors, sensory equipment, small steps and slides with less than 360-degree turns. Kids between 2 and 5 years old enjoy various climbing equipment, balance beams, spiral slides and swings.

Safety Surfacing

Playground safety surfacing is an important feature to think about because younger children are not steady on their feet. To protect them from injuries, choose from our cushioned layers of loose-fill or unitary safety surfacing. Areas for children 6 – 23 months should generally go for a unitary surface like poured-in-place rubber or rubber tiles. Loose fill is not a good idea as infants and toddlers put everything in their mouths and crawling. Generally, loose fill may work for ages 2-5 years old and serves as another element of play. There are pros and cons to both, so let the playground experts from Park and Rec Pros help you choose the best option!


Shade is an important aspect of any playground especially daycare and early childhood centers to protect children from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. They also protect playground equipment from fading and overheating. Even in moderate temperatures, playground equipment can get dangerously hot!

Shade structures come in various styles, shapes and colors—hips, sails and cantilevers. You can cover the entire playground if you so choose to, while another option is to cover specific areas. Umbrellas are great options for sandboxes or sensory play areas. For those on a limited budget, we recommend cost-effective options like benches with shade along the perimeter of the play area so adults and caregivers can comfortably monitor children for safety, and when little ones want to take a break and cool off, they’ll have a place to do so!

From freestanding equipment to all-in-one playground packages, Park and Rec Pros has all the equipment you need to make your daycare playground safe, fun and interactive for young children. Contact us today to learn about the different types of daycare playground equipment we offer.