Factors to Consider When Choosing Playground Equipment
Playground equipment varies by location, and space limitations often determine what playground components can be included. Whether at a school, community park or commercial lot, there are many factors to consider when choosing playground equipment.
Kids love the small rush of speeding down slides. They can also enjoy climbing structures that provide a challenge or add a fun look to a playground.
Spring riders (also called rockers) are a classic playground addition that encourages movement and offers kids an exciting and unique experience. They are designed with an industrial-strength spring beneath a central beam or flange on which one to four plastic seats sit. When children climb aboard, they are able to rock and bounce back and forth or move in a circle.
These motion-based playground toys are available in a variety Playground Equipment of designs and characters, so they can be incorporated into any play environment. Many spring riders also make sounds or have music to stimulate sensory development, while others feature textured surfaces to promote tactile play. Multi-child spring riders are perfect for encouraging social interaction, while single-child spinners are great for building strength and balance.
Themes like animals, race cars and rocket ships can be incorporated into the design of a single spring rider to add an extra level of fun. Natural-looking horse spring riders are a perennial favorite, while those with more detailed manes and tails offer plenty of opportunities for imaginative play.
Imaginative play is a critical component of child development, and spring riders encourage it by offering children the chance to act out their own worlds. Whether they’re pretending to be pirates searching for treasure or astronauts in space, bouncing on a spring rider helps develop their creative thinking skills and decision-making abilities.
Sensory activity wall panels are a great addition to playgrounds and help kids learn age-appropriate skills through play. They provide new sensory experiences that encourage imagination, social interactions and problem-solving. When installed properly, they can also facilitate cognitive and brain development.
The most common type of sensory activity panel is the music panel that stimulates the child’s hearing and helps them develop an ear for sound. By banging on the drums and playing the xylophone, children’s nervous systems are encouraged to process sounds that are not familiar to them. This helps them understand the effects of different frequencies and helps them to fine-tune their strike methods to create the sounds they prefer. These musical play panels offer sensory integration for those with autism, ADHD, hearing impairments and auditory processing disorders.
Other sensory activity panels encourage the sense of touch by requiring children to touch or manipulate items, such as gears on the Scientific Gears Play Panel and cylinders that spin to match objects with shapes on the Noughts and Crosses Panel. The tactile nature of these panels allows children to strengthen their grip as they interact with the pieces and helps them improve hand-eye coordination.
Visual sensory activity panels help boost vision development, including the ability to recognize and communicate emotions. For example, the Faces of Emotions Play Panel shows children how a happy face looks versus an angry one and supports self-regulation as they explore the differences.
Merry-go-rounds are playground staples that kids love to spin and twirl on. These spinning play structures are a wonderful way to help children strengthen their motor, cognitive and affective skills, as well as improve balance and coordination. They also provide an excellent opportunity for sensory stimulation, which can benefit special needs students.
Depending on the structure, some merry-go-rounds may be designed to accommodate children in wheelchairs, while others feature a platform that can be ridden by kids standing or sitting. Many modern merry-go-rounds feature hand operations Playground Equipment to allow children to control the rotation of the equipment. This allows kids to take turns riding with their friends and promotes inclusion of all types of children in the playground experience.
One of the major risk factors associated with merry-go-round accidents in the past was the speed of rotation, but most commercial merry-go-rounds now have a governor attached to the base that reduces the equipment’s maximum speed. These devices apply friction to the main support, slowing down the rate of rotation.
Our merry-go-rounds are available in a variety of powder coat paint colors and can be customized with logos or other details to fit any playground theme. They also have grease fittings to allow for annual maintenance of the bearing and shaft lubrication. This ensures that the merry-go-round remains safe and in optimal working condition for years to come.
Slides are a classic playground feature that provides children with the excitement and thrill of high-speed fun. They are popular with kids of all ages and provide multiple benefits to their overall development.
Children are natural thrill seekers and are prone to experience adrenaline rushes, especially when they feel challenged. Slides offer them this opportunity, as it requires a certain amount of physical effort to climb up the structure, sit and then slide down. In this way, it helps them develop arm and leg strength.
Furthermore, the process of climbing up a slide helps them practice balance and coordination as they work on their spatial awareness. This ongoing behavior also helps them build their confidence and encourages them to keep trying even when they are unable to complete the task.
Slides also encourage social interaction as many children can use them simultaneously. While this may lead to some competition between kids, the majority of the time it teaches them how to play cooperatively with each other. It teaches them to share and be patient as they wait for their turn.
As long as they follow basic safety guidelines then slides are safe for kids of all ages. However, the incline of the chute and the number of spirals or turns can impact how safe a slide is for different age groups. We recommend a variety of designs to cater for the different needs of all ages.