Designing a Playground for Preschoolers

For preschoolers, play is serious business! Before their school years, younger kids rely on play time to learn and develop mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. Designing a playground for preschoolers allows you to create a safe and enriching space for the future generation!

Telescope, Tribute, Memorial

Big Concepts in Early Childhood Playground Design and What Kids Need

Kids who are particularly young need a few specific features from their preschool playground’s design. The space needs to:

  • ■ Engage: Children in the preschool years are still developing their attention spans, so playgrounds need to be exciting and interesting to keep their focus. Look for bright colors, multiple activities and a natural element to keep kids engaged.
  • ■ Promote independent play and supervised play: Provide activities that allow for independent play and play with adult supervision. This combination will mean playground equipment should be designed with plenty of space around it so that caregivers and adults can step in to help.
  • ■ Be inclusive: Young children develop at different speeds, so you need play equipment that can be used by both children who are advanced and those still developing gross and fine motor skills. Look for play equipment that allows children to be helped along by caregivers if they need it. PlayPower Canada has a wide variety of play equipment for children of all abilities.
  • ■ Lend development supports: Look for playground equipment designed to help children grow physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. Equipment that assists in building fine motor skills while also appealing to the senses and helping children play in groups while learning, for example, makes playtime more impactful.

Putting Safety First

Safety is a key concern for preschool markets. Children of this age are still working on balance and muscle group control. They may not know how to stay safe, so they may be at risk on playgrounds that are perfectly acceptable for older kids to play on. When designing a daycare playground, you can keep children safer if you:

  • ■ Keep heights low: Buy equipment that’s designed specifically for younger children, and ensure there are no tall heights when it’s set up.
  • ■ Look for play equipment designed for younger children: Playground slides, climbers, swings and other pieces designed for older children can be dangerous for toddlers. Always purchase playgrounds specifically designed for your age group.
  • ■ Buy quality equipment: Purchase from quality manufacturers who have a track record of safety and create durable, quality pieces from non-toxic materials. PlayPower Canada carefully curates the best brands to help you design a safe play space, for example.

If you’re ready to start creating your play area for little ones, contact PlayPower Canada to toss around some preschool playground design ideas and start putting together your custom playground.

Evaluating Playground Bids and Proposals

Evaluating Playground Bids

If you have sought out multiple bids and proposals, you now have to take on the task of reviewing them all and selecting one, which can feel pretty daunting. Since all of them are persuasive, how can you be sure to choose the right one to get the playground you want?

Evaluating playground bids and proposals does not have to be overwhelming. By creating some parameters for comparison and looking beyond the words to what’s actually being presented, you can narrow down the stack of bids and come up with a clear winner.

How to Evaluate Playground Bids

Evaluating playground bids starts by going over what you’re looking for and then narrowing down your list of options. You can do so by comparing the proposals in a few basic ways:

  • ■ Start by deciding what matters to you: Create a list of features and amenities you want most for your playground, and use a number system to determine which features are absolutely crucial to you and which ones are less so. Go through the bids and proposals, and see which ones fail to meet your most basic needs. By eliminating these non-starters right away, you’ve already narrowed down the numbers and made the process of evaluating playground proposals much simpler.
  • ■ Take a look at the size of the playground equipment: Does it fit your needs and allow children to grow with the playground? Does the equipment fit into the space you have? Check your playground measurements to ensure you’re considering bids for equipment you have space for.
  • ■ Consider the warranties: Examine how much is covered by warranties and how long they last. Keep in mind that anything not covered by warranties will need to be covered by you if there are any problems at your playground.
  • ■ Compare costs: It can be tempting to look at cost first, but it should be the last thing you consider. Thinking of price first can mean you end up with a playground that costs more in the long run because it may need to be replaced sooner. By considering quality and fit first, you ensure you get a quality investment in the future.

Evaluating Playground Proposals

Working With PlayPower Canada

If you’re looking for durable, innovative and quality play equipment, get in touch with PlayPower Canada. We offer a range of playground solutions and have been helping create play spaces across the country. Our custom design capabilities and personalized attention ensure you get the playground you want and need. Contact us today to talk to a member of our team about the playground you want to build.

Trash Receptacles Buyers Guide

Trash Receptacles Buying Guide (1)

When visitors come to your park, what do they see? Hopefully, they see a sparkling clean, inviting space that encourages them to linger a while. Keeping your park free of debris is a crucial part of projecting that image, and it’s an important way to honor the investment you’ve made in your green space.

Trash receptacles deserve a lot more attention and respect than they get, mainly because these hard-working park accessories can help you keep your outdoor space cleaner. PlayPower Canada has put together this trash receptacles buyers guide to help you choose the right litter bins and containers for your park.

As you consider where and how to encourage visitors to dispose of their trash, think about the following questions:

How Many Trash Receptacles Does Your Park Need?

In general, you want a few trash containers around your park, especially near any seating or food areas. When it comes to litter receptacles, a guide or rule of thumb suggests they should be about 25 feet apart.

Where Should the Litter Receptacles Go?

Any transitional space, such as an entrance into a new space or into a park, should have a litter can. In addition, any space near seating areas, washrooms or picnic spaces should have trash receptacles since people are more likely to eat (and thus have food wrappers) there. Any areas where children congregate, such as playgrounds, are also good places to put additional trash bins. If you see debris in specific places in your park, these areas are also good candidates.

How Can You Encourage People to Toss out Their Trash and Recycle?

In addition to making your trash containers visible with bright colors and shapes, make sure they’re handy. Fewer people will use them if they have to walk off a trail to get to them. Also, make sure the bins are welcoming. If they’re overflowing or smelly, they’re less likely to encourage visitors to throw out their debris.

An area that does not get enough attention — yet is of most importance for our future generations — is recycling. Adding a recycling container to your park will not only show your visitors that you care about the environment, but it will hopefully encourage them to utilize it appropriately.

In today’s society of on-the-go lifestyles, more and more beverage containers and other recyclables are being consumed outside the home. Recycling saves energy, ensures our environment stays clean, conserves materials and reduces landfill garbage. By placing a recyclable container in your park, it can help teach, motivate and reinforce recycling at home as well — portraying a positive and eco-friendly park image to your community.

Finally, consider whether you might wish to add a sign thanking people in advance for tossing their trash and recycling. Some parks even add a fine for littering to ensure visitors know the rules.

Which Litter Containers Should You Choose?

PlayPower Canada has many litter containers and options and can even customize bins to your specific needs. In general, make sure you choose bins that are the right size. For heavy-traffic green spaces, make sure you buy large enough containers so that they will not overflow.

Think about bright colors or hues that blend into your space. Consider, too, how the bins will be used. Do you want an open trash bin or a closed one to discourage pests? If you opt for closed lids, consider carefully how large the opening needs to be to stay convenient. Look for bins that are easy to keep clean and empty out.

We hope these litter receptacles guidelines have you thinking about your green space and its cleanness in a whole new way. If you’d like to find the right bins for your park, contact PlayPower Canada to learn about our many options and our customization capability.

Guide to Providing Shade in Your Park

Shade for Park Playground

Providing adequate shade in parks is essential to encouraging visitors to drop by more. When visitors know they won’t overheat and understand they can seek refuge in a comfortable, shady spot on a bright day, it’s easier for them to make the decision to visit the green space you’ve worked so hard to design!

Proper shade also helps keep active visitors from overheating on sunny days and can protect everyone from the sun’s rays, especially when they’re spending lots of time outside. Shade can even cut glare, so when exciting events are planned, audiences can see better.

You have lots of options when it comes to offering shade. We’ve created this guide to providing shade in your park to help you make the best choices.

How to Provide Shade in Parks

If you have a park, green space or recreational area and want to add shade, you should mull over a few considerations:

    • ■ How much space do you have for your shade? Do you have room for lots of trees, or are you better off with a cantilever shade structure that has minimal posts? The smaller your space, the more important it is to find shade solutions with a small footprint.
    • ■ What is the terrain like? If the ground is sandy or bad for trees, shade structures may be a stronger option. If you live in an area where flooding or extreme weather is a risk, choose highly stable and durable shades.
    • ■ Do you want public park shade structures or natural shade, such as trees? Trees can blend in more easily with a green space, but you need to consider pests and how long it will take trees to grow. In addition, think about whether root systems will harm garden areas, benches or recreation areas. If you’re considering shade structures, think about your budget, needs and the look you would most like to see.
    • ■ Where is shade most needed? Look at where park visitors tend to linger for a while. Whether it’s by picnic tables, benches or a favorite spot to watch sports, these are the areas where shade is important. Also, keep an eye out for any areas that overheat and anywhere park visitors tend to be active. These spaces may need some shade to keep things cool.
    • ■ What visibility considerations do you need to think about? Make sure your proposed shades are not blocking views of bandstands, sports fields or a great view. If you have a playground, for example, make sure parents can supervise children without being encumbered by a shade post.

Shade over Park Picnic Area

Work With PlayPower Canada for Public Park Shade Structures

PlayPower Canada has years of experience providing shade in public parks across the country. We offer a range of shade solutions, from ones with small footprints to larger shades that cover more space. We can even help customize your park area with a personalized shade designed for your unique needs. Contact us today to start discussing your park shade structures.

Biba-Enabled Play

NRPA Survey + Using Technology To Connect Kids to Nature

Free games to encourage healthy outdoor playDid you know the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) publishes the results of its monthly park and recreation surveys? The surveys are part of its official polling group, the NRPA Park Pulse and are available to the public on the NRPA website. Click the image below to see an infographic of the results.

In July 2018, the focus was on Drawing Kids to Nature Through Tech, and the findings revealed that 77% of the parents surveyed agreed that “merging technology and nature will increase children’s desire to go to parks.”  In a related article, Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA President and CEO is quoted as saying “The negative effects too much screen time can have on a child’s development are well-known. However, when used responsibly, technology can be used to connect children to their natural surroundings, especially in parks where opportunities to bridge technology and nature exist.”

PlayPower Canada is well aware of how tech can actually draw children to play and experience the great outdoors. In February 2015 we launched mobile games optimized for PlayPower playgrounds, then in early 2016 followed up with free games to encourage outdoor play. Both these articles feature Biba mobile apps and Biba-activated playgrounds from PlayPower. Since then, Biba-activated playgrounds have been installed across Canada, delighting families with their ability to add digital elements like treasure maps and obstacle course challenges to play areas. The Journal of Child Health Care published an article on a study noting that Biba playground play results in greater amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity – a great outcome given the challenges parents are facing with when trying to encourage their children to get healthy, physical activity. To see other ways Biba is benefiting parks in Canada, click here to learn about playground data reports on our website.

The experts at PlayPower Canada are here to help you create the best solution for your site and community. Along with our accessible, inclusive, and smart playgrounds, we offer formal training, workshops, webinars, and informational kits to share successful models and challenges we’ve overcome along the way.

Contact your local PlayPower Canada rep today to find out more about using technology to connect kids to nature.

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Canada’s Best Play Equipment For Your Community—Now On Sale!

Playground Sale Canada

For a limited time, save on the best playground equipment in Canada! We’re running a special promotion with our top equipment up to 40% off, plus free shipping.*

Now is your chance to create beautiful, fun play areas that delight your community—even if you are dealing with a limited budget. Give your children access to the developmentally appropriate and inclusive equipment they need. This offer is for Canadian playground buyers only, and runs only through December 3, 2018.

PlayPower Canada products are IPEMA certified to be compliant to CSA standards, meaning you can rest assured that you’ll be purchasing top-quality products that comply with the latest standards.

Act now and see the great savings on Little Tikes Commercial and Miracle Recreation play equipment here. This sale includes full play structures, independent events, shade structures and even an interactive digital solution to delight the whole family. Request a free quote at the button below!


Click the catalogue above to see our sales flier. Like what you see? Contact a rep directly to get a quote!

*See Little Tikes Commercial website and Miracle Recreation website for details.


Give All Children the Ability to Play Together

Universally accessible playgrounds from Unlimited Play and Little Tikes Commercial.

Little Tikes Commercial and Unlimited Play are ready to partner with your local team to create universally accessible playgrounds that children of all abilities can enjoy together.

Unlimited Play is a non-profit organization that uses universally accessible playgrounds to rally community members around a higher set of values, working together to build environments where individuals on all levels can connect for a common cause. The goal of our partnership is to create an inclusive play environment that will be a point of pride for the community for many years to come — a place where all kids and adults are accepted for who they are, not what they can or can’t do.

Rock’n Ship Glider

Little Tikes has developed products like the Seven Station Play Factory that enables children of all abilities to easily play together or enjoy a parallel play experience. Other Little Tikes Commercial inclusive and accessible play components include the Rock’n Ship Glider, a gently swaying, wheelchair-accessible glider, and Activity Panels that allow children to express themselves while exploring imaginative play.

The experts at Unlimited Play, Little Tikes Commercial and PlayPower Canada are here to help you create the best solution for your site and community. Along with our accessible and inclusive playgrounds, we offer formal training, workshops, webinars and informational kits to share successful models for universally accessible play as well as the challenges we’ve overcome along the way.

For more information about the Little Tikes Commercial partnership with Unlimited Play, please visit http://littletikescommercial.ca/our-products/commercial-playground-equipment/inclusive-and-accessible-playgrounds/ or http://littletikescommercial.ca/unlimited-play/ for more details about our inclusive and accessible playgrounds.

For more news on inclusive play, check out the posts below.

Contact your local PlayPower Canada rep today to find out more about Unlimited Play and how we specialize in helping businesses, schools and other organizations understand the importance of inclusive play spaces and experiences.

New Inclusive Picnic Table and Bench Solutions for Public Spaces Now Available.

Landscape architects and developers looking to provide public seating that’s designed to be both inclusive and appealing need to check out the new line of inclusive tables, picnic tables and benches recently launched by PlayPower Canada. You can get a closer look at the kind of rugged and attractive products available through this new line of public seating solutions below.

The 46″ AODA/ADA Square Table is a three-seat option that allows accessibility on one side compliant with AODA and ADA. This table is available with either an inground or surface-mount leg option with posts constructed from rugged four-inch square steel tubing. The surface mount option has a plate welded to the base with four ½-inch diameter holes for anchoring (anchoring hardware not included). Umbrellas can be used with these tables, although they must be secured to the tables. The table tops and seats are coated in a rugged Plastisol coating, while the framework is coated in an AAMA2604-05-compliant powder coating and available in your choice of a diamond or perforated pattern.

The 6′ AODA/ADA Separate Bench Table has a heavy-duty frame constructed from 2 3/8″ OD steel tubing and is wheelchair-accessible on both ends. Like the 46” Square Table, the table tops and seats of the 6’ AODA/ADA Separate Bench Table are coated in a rugged Plastisol coating, with an AAMA2604-05-compliant, powder-coated framework available in your choice of a diamond or perforated pattern.

The 3’ Extendable Post Bench, which we call ‘The Playground Bench,’ is constructed from powder-coated five-inch steel tubing to match your play equipment. This bench complies with CSA Play Equipment standards so it can be included in the play area, allowing caregivers to be close the play! Also ask about shade solutions to let everyone play safely outdoors on those beautiful summer days!

To see the full line of site amenities available from PlayPower Canada, please visit http://playpowercanada.ca/products/site-furnishings/ , http://www.littletikescommercial.ca/our-products/site-amenities/ , http://www.miracle-recreation.ca/site-amenities/ or http://www.wabashvalley.com/ .

Contact your local PlayPower Canada representative for more information.

Biba-Enabled Play

Your Biba playground data report is now available.

Playgrounds, exercise and family fun are crucial to every community — and we are the first to offer accurate stats, profiles and patterns of your playgrounds to help make them their very best through Biba’s digital data tracking.

Our Biba games provide you with data reports full of never-before-seen information about your park, including:

  • Comparables — See how your park compares to others, with family ratings for categories such as safety and cleanliness.
  • Peak hours and peak days — Find out what hours of the day and days of the week families spend most on the playground.
  • Weather impact — See how weather affects how much time kids spend on the playground.
  • Temperature impact — Temperatures can be an excellent indicator of playground attendance conditions as well as whether you need to install shade or other shelter facilities.
  • Activity levels — Biba uses World Health Organization standards to provide each game with a profile that helps indicate which games kids find most attractive on your playground.
  • Equipment reporting and preference — These charts show what parents indicate may be missing from your playground as well as the types of equipment kids prefer.

And Biba is COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)-compliant!

Put Biba data to work for you.

Here are just a few ways we know Biba data is already being used by parks and recreation organizations like yours:

  • Managing expenditures — Our data can be critical in steering your park upgrades in the right direction.
  • Program planning — Biba data can help you decide where and when to schedule events based on factors like attendance, accessibility and summer holidays
  • Grant proposals — Data like this can help you with grant-proposal writing for new initiatives, programs and facilities.

Contact your local PlayPower Canada representative for more information about Biba!

Click to request your Biba data report now!

2018 Catalogues Ready to Download!

The 2018 Catalogues Are Here!

The new 2018 catalogues have arrived, filled with new products from Little Tikes Commercial Play Structures and Miracle Recreation. Each catalogue is available in English and French and features exciting solutions for inclusive playgrounds, custom playgrounds and independent play from some of the world’s leading experts. What an incredible time to be a kid… or a parent, or a park planner or a landscape architect!

Little Tikes Commercial gives you new ways to open the gateway to the magic of outdoor play. Start your creativity engines with the Concerto™ line of outdoor musical equipment, the hybrid Morphous Slide, NU-edge® nature-inspired play structures, a ground-level Surface Spinner and new activity panels that inspire curiosity, critical thinking and fun.

Miracle Recreation brings you more new ways to shape the future of play. Unleash the latest thrilling innovations, like the Extreme Generation adventure playground, the Concerto™ line of outdoor musical equipment, revolutionary new Dome Climbers, the ground-level Inclusive Whirl, the Biba mobile playground app and new play panels that promote interactive, sensory and inclusive play for kids of all abilities.

Contact your local Playpower Canada representative to find out more about the latest in play!