Your Complete Guide To Playground Budget and Playground Grants and Funding Options

In today’s challenging economic climate, schools, childcare centers, parks and recreation departments, and non-profit agencies are constantly pressured to do more with less. Future Playground Budgeting

Play spaces are crucial for children to imagine, interact, and engage in active play. However, high-quality commercial outdoor playground equipment can be a significant investment, and funding new play spaces can be challenging for many organizations. As a top playground equipment supplier, we want to ensure there are no surprises in your playground costs. We’re here to cover how to plan your entire budget and find financial resources to fund your new commercial playground equipment. Read on so the kids in your care can get on their way to a great place to play!

Understanding the Costs of Building a Playground

The size of your space generally determines playground pricing. And it’s not just the equipment you need to be thinking about. Price estimates for commercial playgrounds should include equipment, surfacing, and installation costs. A general rule is to budget about $1000 per child, so if you need a playground capacity of 50 children using the play area, you should budget about $50,000.

The final price includes each of the following components:

Commercial Playground Equipment Cost:

A standard playground project may include medium or large play structures or multiple small age-appropriate pieces. Large outdoor playsets can have over 15 play activities and accommodate 30 or more children. Most standard playgrounds include multi-bay swing sets and additional freestanding play equipment that expand the play area and provide shade.

Shade and Amenities:

Many standard playground projects include shade structures like our Ergo-Eco Benches with a Roof as an essential part of their site. Also, a well-made playground system isn’t complete without additional site amenities like our Benches and Trash Cans.


Choosing safety surfacing is not only safe for kids, but can enhance the theme and aesthetic of your play area. Upgraded playground surfacing options also require less maintenance, saving money in the long run. Synthetic grass, rubber tiling, and recycled bonded rubber are all great choices. With our Turnkey projects, we offer safety surfacing to minimize fall injuries and borders to contain loose surfacing materials. Our safety surface installation package includes a personalized play equipment site plan. This plan helps our professional equipment crew accurately locate and install borders and surfacing.

Playground Installation:

Playground Installation PlanningInstallation costs cover labor, equipment, footer concrete, and existing equipment removal. Our certified installers ensure proper installation and full guarantee of the equipment. As playground industry experts, we certify that the finished product is ADA-compatible, CPSI-approved, and ready for play. At Play Mart, you have three installation options:

Certified Play Mart Installations: Get a quote from your local Play Mart sales representative. Our professional installation crews are certified and experienced!

Supervised Installations: Supervised installations by a Certified Play Mart Installer are available. Ask for a quote from your local Play Mart sales representative.

Customer Installations: Customer installations are appropriate only when an experienced construction crew uses Play Mart’s installation instructions.


The cost of commercial shipping varies by location. We work with trusted partners to get you the lowest shipping and freight costs possible. Contact Play Mart to discuss cost-effective shipping options for your area.

Playground Maintenance:

Although our Recycled Structural Plastic is extremely durable and requires minimal maintenance, keep in mind the continuous costs of landscaping and incidentals.

Types of Playground Options

Playground Equipment MaterialsChoosing playground equipment for your site can feel overwhelming. Different types of playgrounds require specialized equipment to suit the age range and number of children who will use it. When budgeting for the cost of playground equipment, it’s essential to consider the location and how the new playground equipment will be used.

Use and durability are key factors to consider. If your playground is at a school, thousands of kids may use it daily. Commercial park equipment may see an equal amount of heavy use, so our RSP products that won’t rust, chip, rot, or fade are a great choice.

Also, commercial play equipment is likely to serve children with different abilities. It’s important to have inclusive equipment that accommodates everyone, such as wheelchair-accessible spaces and equipment designed for those with visual or cognitive impairments. An inclusive playground allows every child to enjoy the space.

As one of the nation’s leading commercial playground companies, we understand these considerations and are here to help you make the best choices for your site.

How to Find Playground Grants

You can get free money to install playground equipment through playground grants. Organizations nationwide offer grants to help fund playgrounds, so you can improve and maintain your play area without breaking the bank.

Many government agencies, foundations, nonprofits, and corporations give playground grants. These organizations recognize the value of school and park playground equipment in promoting healthy development and physical fitness in children. Some businesses even donate specifically for playgrounds in low-income areas or those needing accessibility accommodations.

Although Play Mart doesn’t offer grants directly, many grant resources are available to nonprofits, schools, and parks from national, state, and regional organizations.

Remember to thoroughly research each grant and understand the goals of the funding organization. Tailor your application to fit their mission and increase your chances of success. Start early to meet application deadlines and ensure a smoother process.

National, Regional, and Local Government Agencies

You may be able to find funding opportunities for community and school playground projects through government agencies. Your local government, county, or municipality may have dedicated programs and grants to promote community development and cater to the needs of children. Take advantage of this funding to enhance your community’s playgrounds and create an engaging environment for kids. Search the national database for federal grants for parks and playgrounds.

Nonprofit Organizations

Numerous organizations offer playground grants to improve outdoor recreation spaces and promote physical play for children. From charitable foundations prioritizing children’s fitness and well-being to nonprofits dedicated to community development, ample resources are available. These organizations allocate funds and provide comprehensive grant listings and guidance on crafting winning applications and proposals.

Other Playground Financing Options

If you cannot find a grant opportunity that meets your needs, there are several other options to cover your playground cost.

School Playground Fundraising

Playground FundraisingIf you want to raise money for new commercial-grade playground equipment or to renovate your old playground, here are some simple steps to get you started. First, identify potential donors in your community, from local business leaders to family foundations. Reach out to them with a personalized message highlighting the importance of a playground for your community.

Next, engage with your potential donors in a fun and exciting way. Host in-person parties, create digital crowdsourcing campaigns, or plan large community events. The options are endless!

To generate public awareness, use public relations tools such as campaign overviews, local media contacts, and promotional materials that showcase your future playground space. Utilize online assets like digital fundraisers, social media posts, and email newsletters to keep your donors informed and excited. Lastly, don’t forget to thank your contributors and keep them updated on your progress. Building strong relationships with your donors is key for continued support.

Purchasing contracts

Purchasing contracts, also known as buying cooperatives, offer a streamlined way for eligible organizations to buy park and playground equipment. With playground purchasing contracts, you can choose from a cooperative contract catalog and make your purchase.

Playground buying agreements tap into the power of numbers, allowing groups to pool their buying power. This is especially valuable for smaller organizations, non-profits, and agencies that can benefit from the market share of larger consumers and tap into specialized knowledge in the sector.

How do playground buying agreements work?

  • Two or more parties identify a common requirement and agree to work together.
  • A lead party solicits proposals and awards a contract.
  • Other parties within the buying group can utilize the awarded contract.
  • Participating groups sign an agreement to follow the contract’s details.

Financing through our partners at Navitas

Don’t let limited budgets hold you back from providing your current and future students with the best playground equipment! Our affordable monthly payment plans can be customized to fit almost any budget. We offer financing options for our full product line for any size project through our partners at Navitas.

Navitas Lease Corp. is one of the leading commercial financing companies in the country. A Navitas Certified Financing Professional will assist you in creating a financing plan that suits your needs.

Benefits of playground financing through Navitas:

  • Preserve Your Cash:

By opting for equipment financing, you can secure the capital you need to support your playground project, allowing you to use your cash for other essential operating expenses. We understand that every business has different budgetary needs. That’s why they design a monthly payment plan that meets almost any budget, making kids’ outdoor play equipment financing more affordable and accessible.

  • More Convenient:

With equipment costs of up to $75,000, you can get approved in minutes with just an application. You can avoid the hassle of providing financial statements or visiting your bank’s branch office. Plus, you won’t have to wait long to get the financing you need.

  • Enjoy Tax Benefits:

Depending on your financing structure and your company’s tax position, you may have the opportunity to deduct the full monthly payment against your taxable income. Additionally, equipment financing does not expose you to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

  • 100% Fixed Rate Financing:

Unlike banks that typically require a substantial down payment and force you to open a checking account, equipment financing requires minimal money down and provides you with a fixed rate for the entire contract duration. This makes it easier to budget your equipment expenses without worrying about fluctuating interest rates.

  • All-In-One Financing:

With Navitas, you won’t be juggling multiple financing options. With equipment financing, you can cover the costs of equipment, surfacing, and installation, all with one low monthly payment.

  • Fast Approval:

Once you submit your credit application, you can expect to receive approval in less than two hours in most cases. Say goodbye to long waiting times and hello to a quick and efficient financing process.

Playground Phasing

Playground Planning in PhasesPlayground phasing is the perfect solution to customize your space and manage your costs. With Play Mart’s modular equipment, you can start with a small segment of your playground plan and spread out the installation over a more manageable time period. We’re happy to work with you to design the playground you dream of and also to help decide which pieces you’ll install in phase I, II, and so on. Plus, it’s fun for the kids to discover new playground equipment as time goes on.

Phasing your playground is easy with Play Mart. You can continue adding more amenities and reaching your goals as you reach your budgetary milestones.

Make Your Playground Dream a Reality

Before making your budget, explore our wide range of playground products, available in many combinations and price points. You can also request a quote from our play experts to create a realistic financial plan to bring your vision to life.

At Play Mart, we are committed to assisting you in every step of the process. Whether it’s designing and planning a new park playground or work with you while you are finding resources to fund and maintain school playground equipment, we’re here for you.

Having a safe place to play can have a positive and long-lasting impact on the children and families in your community. If financial constraints hinder your progress in creating a great play space, numerous grant funding and financing options are available to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us directly with questions or concerns. We would be more than happy to assist you in the playground planning process so your children can start enjoying the thrill of play without delay!

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Recent Articles


"Play Mart Inc. is truly the company you want to do business with when looking for commercial grade playground equipment.

Lesson learned: not all playground equipment is compatible with other equipment. Our HOA had a Play Mart set that was purchased in 2005 it was needing to be refurbished. Ryan Williams contacted me right away asking what he could do to help. Records hadn’t been kept so I was having difficulty finding what we had and what we could do. After sending pictures from my phone, Ryan took over giving us the original design blueprint! A detailed report on what we had and what needed to be replaced was soon in my hands.

We were elated to learn that some of our stuff was still under warranty! Options of what could be done and what must be done to ensure the safety of our children were outstanding! We were so pleased that the nightmare of searching for playground equipment was now over! The equipment is made in the USA too.

While we wait for delivery we can’t thank Ryan Williams enough for the care he took in making sure that our playground is safe! They also offer installation if you need that! Everything ships with detailed installation instructions like a picture book! Thank You Play Mart and Ryan for all of your professional help!"

Jeanette Bowen

"I'm not sure whether the kids would have caused damage to the playset at some point, but the playground survived the hurricane. Your RSP™ is amazing."

Tim H. Gateway Services Community Development District

Ft Myers, FL

“I would just like to let you know Play Mart did a wonderful job on the packing/shipping and installation instructions. We have installed almost every manufacturer in the market and your company is the most installation friendly we have done in years.”

Playground Installation Crew


“The contractor who assembled the set told me it was his first experience with recycled material in play sets and he was very impressed. He also told me it was very well packaged and user friendly for assembly.

It looks first class and blends in well with the wooded area surrounding our church. We like the fact we can accommodate so many kids with a set this size.”

Bruce P.

Topeka, KS

“This is cooler than big kids stuff!”

5 Year Old Child

Topeka, KS

“Congratulations on your extensive and impressive exhibit of your playground products. I was most impressed. If I were a child, I would spend a lot of time in the music section of your marvelous array of enticing things to do. But on the other hand, I could easily be enticed to the many other play opportunities for play and learning.

It is blatantly obvious that you have put a lot of careful thought into developing your engaging products for children. Congratulations and thank you for the tour of your exhibit at the trade show.”

Matthew Evans, FASLA Senior Landscape Architect & Horticulturist

US Capitol, Washington, DC

“It gives me great pleasure to be able to write a letter on behalf of Play Mart, Inc. On two different occasions in recent years, Play Mart constructed playground equipment on our school property. Play Mart representatives went out of their way to meet with the school playground committee so that we fully understand our options and the cost. We have been delighted with the equipment that Play Mart representatives recommended for our students. It is age appropriate and safe. We have had to make two minor repairs, which were quickly taken care of by the company.
In the process building the playground, we were very interested in using recycled materials. Availability of this via Play Mart was a big reason why we choose this company. Play Mart worked with us in obtaining exactly what we wanted. We were very pleased with the construction timeline and the value for the price. When we wanted to add more equipment, Play Mart was most helpful and made the changes cost effective for us. Our students spend many happy hours enjoying the playground.

We have been very happy with the entire project. It is with great satisfaction I write this letter on behalf of the company and their employees.”

Sister Laverne K., School Principal

Newark, DE

“We continue to be so pleased with our playscape! As soon as we open the door in preparation for outside play, the children head straight for the playscape. The teachers so enjoy watching the students play some of their favorite games which include: Pirate Ship (they all crowd on top of the playscape sailing off for adventure of the high seas), Shark! (similar to pirate ship but they all stand on top screaming “shark”), and Ice cream shop (sellers stand under the playscape and deliver ice cream cones to customers on the other side of the ‘counter’).
We thank you again for working so closely with us as we designed this safe and sturdy play area to fit the needs of our Nursery School. It has been one year and it still looks great, blending beautifully into our historic town green. Both our school and our community look forward to many, many more years of fun!”

Laurie H., Daycare Director

Washington, CT

“Our entire church is excited with the equipment and especially glad we saved 32,226 milk jugs from a landfill. We love the look of wood without the problems of termites and splintering.”

Joyce W.

Jacksonville, AR

“I wanted to drop you a quick note to commend you on your subcontractor’s performance…The combination of your quality equipment and the installation by Hammer Down has provided the staff, children and Marine Corp with an excellent play facility. The installation and application of the equipment has turned out superbly.  Hammer Down, Paul and his entire crew were pleasant to work with, knowledgeable of the equipment and codes and had an uncommon willingness to work well with us and other contractors. I commend them for an excellent install and terrific attitude.

As for the poured in place rubber; again a superb product paired with a great subcontractor. Clean Play, Allen and his crew provided a level of work that would be hard to surpass. The installation went smoothly and quickly. I appreciate their attention to detail and cleanliness. Though we may have stayed late, I never have an issue doing that for a contractor that works as hard and diligently as they did each and every day. There performance was outstanding and one I would look forward to seeing again.

I appreciate all of your help and you providing us with such high quality subcontractors. Thank you.”

Mike R., Superintendent

Sauer, Inc.