Design and Consultation Services

We offer three design approaches for Natural Playgrounds: Comprehensive, Simple, and Placement Plans.

Over the years, we have found that everything depends on your budget, not on the size of your site.

The reason for this is pretty simple. The more money you have, the more things you'll want on your site, and the more you have on your site, the more you need to pay attention to how everything works together so you don't end up with a hodgepodge of stuff that doesn't work together, doesn't look good, doesn't enhance the site, and doesn't inspire the children to play in creative and different ways.

So the more you have to spend, the more comprehensive the plan needs to be, which is why we always start off asking about your long-range budget. Of course we are concerned about what you have in hand now, because that will constitute at least the first phase of construction, but we also want to know what your long-range intentions are for your outdoor play and learning area.

For instance, you might start off with $50,000 this year, but you know that over the next five years you'll be committing another $5,000 a year, which means in total you'll be spending $75,000 on your playground. That's the number we need to know, because that's the number that we should be using to be develop your design.

The Comprehensive Design Service is an entire package which includes:

  • A personal visit to your site by our Design Team which presents a very comprehensive, interactive, entertaining slideshow that gets everyone on the same page.
  • A very sophisticated, 3-dimensional topographic map generated by a 3-D scanner which provides us accurate information about your site topography, boundaries, existing vegetation, existing trees, building orientation, paths, shadows, wet areas, drainage issues, entrances and exits, and so on. This information is used to generate a very accurate design that can be used as a construction guideline.
  • A very comprehensive, 30 page questionnaires for both administration and teachers which generates information about expectations, curriculum, children, teachers, parents, and particulars about the site.
  • An extremely accurate, scaled, photorealistic, full-color plan in JPG format (this is NOT a hand-drawn, stylistic, watercolor/magic marker sketch/concept plan), so it is perfect for public display and presentation and for construction!
  • A line item construction estimate that can then be tailored to your budget, if requested.
  • A package of drawings and specifications for all of the  elements to be purchased from our online store, if requested for bid purposes.
  • Guidance about using outdoor classrooms, and guidance about volunteer help during and after construction, where to find money, fundraising, and so on.
  • The pricing for this package varies because it depends on your long-range budget. If you This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., we can easily give you a quote.

The Simple Design Service is for customers looking for a little less comprehensive project, and for help selecting and placing natural play and learning elements in their existing play space, and among the other play elements, but who are not necessarily looking to do an entire makeover. We provide a checklist of the most common play and learning elements incorporated in Natural Playgrounds from which you select 20 of your favorite items which we then incorporate into a very simple design that fits your space. To help us get started, you'll need to provide us with basic information about your site.

The pricing for this option also depends on your budget, but is very reasonable!

The Placement Plan Service is for customers who want help finding the best locations for our products on their existing playground, so we carefully place them among other features, while providing the necessary guidance about licensing, safety, and accessibility. We charge by the hour for this service, so the cost can be very low, indeed, but you get all the benefit of our expertise!

The Custom Design Service is a catchall encompassing specific requests or problems, for which we also charge by the hour.

For instance, we have solved numerous drainage problems inexpensively. We've designed and built mud run and challenge/fitness elements for all ages, and have built custom items like ball pits for adults and for children. Or we answer questions about installing various natural play items, such as hills (which are very difficult to properly shape with the right slope in the right location, and the right materials have to be used to hold the shape of the hill without eroding), or embankment slides (which need to be installed differently depending on the ages of the children using them), or rock scrambles, or freeform sand play areas, or hand pumps (which require a water source), and so on.

Consultation Services We've been in the business of Natural Playgrounds for a very long time, so we know almost everything there is to know about them. We know what kids of various ages like to do outdoors, we know the issues teachers and parents have to deal with outdoors, we know a lot about land, and steep slopes, and drainage, and erosion, and how to control it without spending lots of money, we know how to utilize outdoor space is the most optimal way, and we know all about safety, licensing, and ADA guidelines and regulations.

Suffice it to say, there is nothing we haven't seen before, and probably very little we can't help you with. So -- if you just need an hour or two of our expertise, call us. We don't charge much by the hour. Or if you want us to make a site visit to help you explore your options and the best way to invest your money outdoors, we can help with that, too. Or if you need a dynamite, narrated slide show that will convince even the skeptics in the crowd that natural playgrounds are the way to go, we've got one!

If you have anything in mind, don't hesitate to challenge us. We are the experts in everything to do with Natural Playgrounds, and we look forward to helping you however we can!

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