Playgrounds make a wonderful, joyful addition to your faith organization. Many places of worship use their play area as a hub for the community. The playground could even be a great place for youth groups and children’s classes to meet. Before your church can start enjoying the benefits of a custom playground, you’ll need to make sure that it is as safe as possible. We’ve put together 5 key safety practices to keep in mind when planning for your playground.
Start from the ground up!
A great first step when planning for your church or mosque’s playground is to choose safety surfacing. Every playground requires proper safety surfacing to cushion children’s falls. Unfortunately, grass isn’t soft enough to prevent broken bones, concussions and other serious injuries. There are many options for safe, aesthetically pleasing safety surfacing. From engineered wood fiber, to poured recycled rubber which can be installed in a wide range of colors, proper safety surfacing will help keep children safe from falls.
Plan for children of all abilities.
Your faith community is a great place where everyone can gather and feel accepted. Considering an inclusive playground design will help keep all the children in your community safe and allow everyone to have a joyful time at the playground together. Make sure to choose church playground equipment that has ramps, guardrails and other accessibility features. Sensory play elements are a great element to most inclusive playgrounds. Another key inclusive element is a clear walking path that is accessible to children with wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
Choose age-appropriate equipment.
Playground equipment is generally divided into two categories of structures: Those that are designed for children between 2 and 5 and those for children ages 5 to 12. If your mosque or church playground will host children of all ages, then you’ll want to select both types of equipment. Structures that are designed for smaller children have important safety features such as low platforms, fewer steps and higher visibility to help prevent accidents.
Encourage adult supervision.
Active supervision makes every playground safer. Sometimes, depending on the use of your playground, parents will be attending to faith services while their children are playing. Ideally, there should be two or more adults on the playground supervising any time a group of children is playing. Adding features like an Expression Swing encourages adult interactions with the kids and encourages big kids to help out others.
Develop a plan for inspections and playground maintenance!
Our playground experts only recommend the highest quality pieces of equipment made from durable materials that can withstand the sun, snow and rain. Your playground will last for years to come, and therefore will withstand years of wear. Appoint a member of your team to inspect the playground regularly to look for things such as loose bolts. Regular maintenance is the final component to preventing accidents so that children can run freely through the play space.
Giving children a safe place to run around isa great component to learning, prayer, and community at your place of worship. Designing a safe playground is easier when you work with experts who know how to select age-appropriate equipment that meets the standards for inclusivity. With the right strategies in place, the members of your church’s congregation can enjoy interacting with the children as they play for a safe and joyful experience!