A Guide To Equipment You Could Buy For A Children’s Playground
Whether you are a day care centre, a primary school or a play centre, you will know that playgrounds tug on the heart strings of children and can provide hours of entertainment for them. In this article we explore the types of playground equipment that you could buy for your setting.
Swings are loved by most children and this is because they offer two types of activity. Swinging can be relaxing as it is a monotonous activity that allows the mind to unwind and the imagination to take over. Swinging can also be energising and stimulating too. The main benefit to the development of children however is that swinging helps develop gross motor skills, balance and co-ordination – all of which are required skills for later life.
When deciding which swings to invest in for your playground, you need to decide which age range the playground will cater for. Babies and very young children will need swings with restraints to ensure they don’t fall out whilst older children will need different types of swings to maximise their enjoyment.
The majority of children find slides very exciting. The ladder to reach the top helps to develop gross motor skills and climbing skills whilst the descent of the slide is highly enjoyable. There are a number of different types of slide available which include stand-alone slides, embankment slides which use the natural landscape of the playground or integrated slides which often also feature climbing elements and bridges too. The type of slide you choose will again depend on the age and skill level of the children at your setting and the amount of space you have available in the playground.
All children enjoy climbing and it’s a vital part of their development. There are a range of different climbing structures available to buy from traditional climbing frame types through to play nets, boulders and more advanced climbing walls. The ideal type for your setting will depend on the age of the children but a climbing frame should usually be allocated the largest amount of space to create a focal point for the playground. It’s obviously vital that some form of soft surfacing should be used on the ground below the climbing frame as children are bound to fall off from time to time.
Trial items include structures such as balancing beams, stepping structures, overhead ladders or monkey bars and bridges. These are great for developing balance and co-ordination skills but can be tricky to master. They are therefore most suitable for playgrounds where older children play, typically 4 years and upwards. Several trial items can be used together to create more elaborate assault-course style play areas.
When planning a playground, you also need to think about other accessories that you will need such as fencing and seating. For safety, it is recommended that playgrounds are fully fenced in with child-locks on gates, especially if the playground will be used by younger children. You should also provide seating where children can rest or watch others play as well as seating which is suitable for the adults supervising the play.
Playgrounds can be created in any space from compact areas through to spacious areas and should utilise a number of different pieces of equipment to give children a variety of items to play on. When buying playground equipment, do your research, look through a list of playground manufacturers and buy products which most closely match your needs.
Image Credits: manyhighways and intrepidteacher.