About Kidstime Playgrounds
Kidstime Playgrounds is the manufacturing wing of custom design, community build playground company, Play By Design (PBDplaygrounds.com). To understand how Kidstime came about, let’s first give you a little background information on Play By Design.
Who is Play By Design
Play By Design is located in Ithaca, NY and was founded in 2010, but for the last 30 years, our senior team has been building unique playgrounds from the ground up that are based on a communities wish-list, parameters and budget. We are proud to say that our end product is a playground that requires minimal maintenance, far exceeds the current ASTM guidelines and is built with precision to ensure that your investment will thrive during its 20+ year lifespan. We can offer guidance in all areas of a playground build from fundraising, grants, soliciting donations, and of course design, to gathering the necessary volunteers for your build. Our passion lies in the community build model because it focuses on the needs of the community as a whole, but also to each of its individual members special needs.
What is Community Build?
Community build is not defined by the physical, as in “volunteers build a playground”, but rather the conceptual of, “how can the community be involved and effective in realizing a playground goal?” For some communities that means volunteer labor is incorporated into certain steps of the process, such as building a portion of the fundraising campaign. For others, Community Build utilizes a volunteer force to design, fundraise, market and build a playground from start to finish. No matter how much volunteer labor you opt to incorporate, using the community build model can be quite efficient for time and budget – in fact, most communities save upwards of 40% of their budget by using volunteers and soliciting donations and the entire playground is built during a 1-week phenomenon! If you are not already familiar with the community build model, below are a few video highlights of award-winning destination playgrounds that Play By Design has recently completed:
- Kenosha Dream Playground, Kenosha, WI
- Libbey Park in Ojai, CA
- Project Playground, Winters, CA
- Eureka 2, Denton, TX
- Kaylas Krew, Franklin, WI
- Everyone’s Playground (M.A.D.I.K), King, NC
- Kids Kingdom, Rowlett, TX
Our process typically starts when one of our CPSI certified designers visits your community to gather input in a two-day meeting that we call Design Day. Our designer will meet with elementary school children to city stakeholders, but also take time to speak with therapists, parents, and teachers of children with special needs so that the playground can be enjoyed by people of all abilities. That’s our talent at Play By Design; we gather huge amounts of feedback from the public and private sectors and weave those dreams into a hand-drafted initial design. You are then welcome to refine that initial sketch until the final design meets the needs and requirements of your community. Here is a video highlight of “Design Day”
Much like the world around us, playground materials and components have gone through a series of major advances in the last ten years especially. Lee and Dave, our company co-founders, delight in hand-picking our preferred catalogs based on quality, affordability, longevity, innovation, and aesthetics, but we are open to hearing your suggestions if you like something that we don’t have on our radar. Our structures are built from ecologically sound, sea-water rated structural plastic that is durable under any weather pattern. We offer commercial “made in the USA” steel play elements, sturdy UV stabilized plastic components and coastal rated shade structures that won’t fade and can be incorporated into your playground swings or structures. Additionally, we offer several options for safety surfacing design, sculptures and “boulders”, nets and swings, site amenities, outdoor musical equipment, outdoor adult exercise equipment and even full-sized commercial play structures that can be incorporated into a custom design. Finally, we have a custom in-house shop where we can design and build custom pieces by request for our playgrounds.
An important aspect of our company is our focus on inclusive play. Our passion for all-abilities play has brought us overseas and we import the Liberty Swing, Ability Whirl and stainless steel slides of any size and length including tube slides that are safe for children with cochlear implants. We are always on the look-out for equipment that exceeds the accessibility requirements though so let us know if you find equipment that you would like to import or incorporate. For example, we have partnered with Landscape Structures and Gametime to incorporate the Sway fun and Expression Swings into our overall design. We are not shy of international paperwork and have experience with the equipment listed above. Also, our senior designers have the capability and authority to “invent” equipment for a child who needs something else…it would be an honor to fulfill a family’s playground component wish in our in-house shop. Our team is set-up for custom design so that we can really incorporate the feedback from therapists, caregivers and even the kids themselves to meet the individual needs of the children in your community.
With everyone involved at the start, enthusiasm builds of its own momentum which leads to an easier time with fundraising, gathering supplies & donations and signing up volunteers. One of the perks of a custom designed play area, even if you’re purchasing a manufactured structure, is that there are so many opportunities to incorporate elements of the playground that can be used for fundraisings, such as engraved pickets, or hand tiles on an entry wall. For example, a winding stone pathway could be designed to be wheelchair and stroller-friendly but also feature a wide variety of blooming bulbs and perennials that would be great for kids seeking sensory input. The stone pavers used to delineate the path could serve as an “engrave your name/message” fundraiser for this area. Local businesses can have their day in the sun too, by providing them several opportunities to advertise their products to a wide base of community members during the planning and gathering phase, or by purchasing pickets or pavers. Whatever ideas come to the table, we can find a way to tastefully and creatively add it to the design. Please refer to our resource tab for our complimentary grant guide and fundraising kit.
We believe that community build is uplifting, inspiring and joyful and that’s at the heart of our dedication to this model. Quite often these playgrounds get the most traffic because they were designed by families, for families. We are continually touched by the post-build comments along the lines of “this is the best experience of my life”, “we are forever changed for the better”. Community build connects a people in so many ways because of its offers a non-partisan focus on what they love most, their children. Community build also boosts awareness of their neighbors’ special needs and talents. A community comes together to build a playground, but what actually happens, is the playground builds their community.
So how did Kidstime Playgrounds come about?
For over ten years, Play By Design has been weaving the manufactured equipment featured on this website into their custom designs. With our established and successful working relationship, SRP asked Play By Design to become their official representative for the northeast United States in the spring of 2018. You guessed it – we call this new wing of Play By Design, Kidstime Playgrounds.
While the majority of Kidstime Playgrounds is centered on SRP’s product lines, we also offer products from these companies:
- Liberty Swing (AUS)
- GL Jones Playground Equipment (UK)
- Atlantics Slides (GER)
- Robertson Recreational Surfacing
- Rubber Designs
- Sports Surface Specialties
- Dynamo Products
- IDS Sculptures
- Freenotes Harmony Park
- Percussion Play
- Greenfield’s Outdoor Fitness
What makes Kidstime Playgrounds unique and what truly sets us apart from the competition, is that our company can mix and match any percentage of custom vs. commercial design as well as any percentage of contract vs. volunteer labor. We can host a design day in your elementary Schools that is centered on a manufactured structure – we can even create a fully customized manufactured playground that is unique to your community. We can add custom elements into the overall design that can greatly aid your fundraising efforts such as the pickets and pavers listed above. We can also orchestrate your manufactured installation just like a custom community build. There are so many options! You give us the parameters and we’ll go to work to ensure that you get the highest return for design on funding – in other words, the most “bang for your buck”
Browse our selection of steel and recycled playgrounds by age or theme. We have a playground to suit every budget!
Shades & Shelters
We offer design, fabrication and installation on a variety of shade and shelters to protect you from the elements.
Offering a safe and dedicated place to sit are the finishing touches for any designed space.
From engineered wood fiber to poured in place designer safety surfacing, we can help!
We are dedicated to offering grant guides, fundraising tips and design ideas to make inclusive, ADA equipment available to all.
Empower creativity in your children by giving them the ability to manipulate their environment with loose parts play equipment.