October 15, 2021

Custom Playgrounds - Three Ways to Personalize Play

The city of Menlo Park, California, set out to create a custom, inclusive playground that celebrated the community’s unique history and geography. The design called for a 12-foot-tall replica of Half Dome, a redwood log climber and tunnel, a campfire climber, and a Volkswagen Bus sensory wall. The goal was to give the children of Menlo Park an opportunity to learn about their community’s heritage while at play. 


GameTime’s Landmark Design team brought the community’s vision to life. Today, the custom playground at Nealon Park is a vibrant and playful place for families to play and learn about their city. And while a full custom playground is a great way to bring a community together, even a few custom pieces can personalize your playground in a memorable way. 

Keep reading to uncover our top three favorite personalized touches for any park or playground.

1. Create A Unique Path With Playground Surfacing

One great way to personalize your playground is with custom surfacing. Our poured in place rubber is an accessible playground safety surface you can customize with colors, shapes, logos, and more. 

The playground at Crown Valley Park (Laguna Niguel, CA) uses poured in place rubber to create unique prints of animals. Not only did this personalize their playground, but it had many functional benefits as well. For example, when a group of children are meeting up in the park, they could plan to meet at the frog. Toddlers also love crawling by and seeing an amphibian friend hopping along beside them. 

custom poured in place surfacing

At South Victoria Park (Los Angeles, CA), GameTime used poured in place rubber to create a unique pathway to connect each play area. Not only did this provide a sense of unity among the play equipment, but it also created a course that children can choose to venture through. The park is rich in sensory play equipment, and kids can walk the path for a complete sensory experience. Check out this article to learn more about sensory play and its benefits. 

2. Sculpt a Playful Experience 

Another great way to personalize your playground is to include custom play sculptures. Our play sculptures include lightweight, durable, hand-painted PolyShield climbers and accents. We also offer GRFC TuffCrete for more realistic detail.

For the community park at Lake Pleasant, we designed play sculptures that mimic animals native to the city of Morristown, Arizona. These creatures are at near-heroic scale, larger than life, and super fun to encounter. Children climb and interact with bald eagles, tortoises, and gila monsters. Not only are these play sculptures a unique, eye-catching addition to the park, but it also promoted a sense of pride in their Morristown identity. 

Need something personalized, but not completely custom? GameTime also offers ready to order GRFC play sculptures. Our Baseball or Soccer Ball sculptures are great for cities who love to cheer on their team. We also offer a variety of nature and animal sculptures.

3. Utilize the Natural Surroundings for Custom Play

Some designers encounter challenging landforms when creating a new park or playground. While some may see these as barriers to their design, others embrace the natural landscape and utilize it as part of the space. 

The landscape architect who designed Canyon Park (Washington, UT) wanted to embrace its natural hilly topography when designing a new playground. GameTime designers worked with the architect and the community to construct two custom double tube slides that descend along the terraced hillside. Custom net climbers are installed alongside the massive tube slides to assist children as they climb back up the hill.

A World of Possibilities

When it comes to personalizing your playground, the possibilities are virtually endless. You can create a fun sensory path with custom poured in place rubber surfacing. Play sculptures modeled after something near to your community’s heart are fun ways to engage children in playful activity. And designing a space using the natural topography of a  or even customize slides and climbers that complement the natural topography of your space.

Custom playground equipment does not have to be an extravagant or expensive undertaking. Including even one of our suggestions will provide a memorable experience to anyone visiting your playground. 

Contact a GameTime representative and start planning personalized touches to your playground today.