Playgrounds form an integral part of childhood. It is the dream of every child to spend as much time as possible on a playground. Modern playgrounds have been redesigned and re-engineered to provide your little ones with maximum fun and enjoyment.
With all the new and improved playground equipment, it can be quite challenging to figure out what kids love most. Of course, each playground equipment is unique, and different kids will always prefer different equipment.
Generally, when it comes to playground equipment, swings, slides, climbers, and markings are among the most popular. Each one of them offers different safety levels and amusement.
In this post, we discuss some of the most popular playground equipment highlighting the benefits of each. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Slides are perhaps the most popular playground equipment. In fact, you can’t have a playground without slides. It just won’t work because almost all kids love sliding. A playground without a slide doesn’t qualify to be called a playground.
Slides are essential for the fun that most kids have while playing. The good thing about slides is that kids of different age groups can use them.
Although no one knows the exact origin of slides, their history can be traced back to many years ago when people from different parts of the world used ice to slide down hills and mudslides to enjoy themselves. A good example would be people living in the northern hemisphere who still use ice slopes as a means of transport up-to-date.
It is believed that the first commercial slide was invented by Charles Wicksteed around 1922. The gentleman is widely known for creating the Wicksteed Park in the United Kingdom just after the Great War.
Charles was a renowned Unitarian minister who championed for the anti-slavery movement. He also co-founded the Leeds Education Society in the UK before he earned the title of slide inventor.
The Safety of Slides
It is no secret that playground accidents are quite common. Statistics show that at least 20,000 kids under the age of 14 suffer playground injuries every year. The injuries are often bone breaks, bone fractures, and concussions.
Most of these accidents often occur due to children playing on playground equipment inappropriately, especially slides.
Who is responsible for these accidents? Everyone. While it is up to the slide designers, builders, and installers to properly construct a slide to reduce the risk of injury to kids, it is up to parents, caregivers, and teachers to supervise kids closely and teach them how to use the equipment properly.
In most cases, parents and caregivers won’t be bothered by how their little ones are using slides. Some of the common types of misuse behavior on playground equipment include how kids go down and climb up.
One thing that is critical is to have playground surface material that can cushion the kids from the inevitable. Accidents will always happen, but if the cushioning is good enough, the risk of children suffering injuries is highly reduced.
Benefits of Slides
Slides are an excellent source of fun at the playground. The feeling that kids experience as they whoosh down the sloppy slide with their arms in the air cannot be explained.
Since slides are all about balance, the combination of the sliding movement and the pull of gravity teach kids how to hold their torsos and control their bodies.
Slides stimulate and develop the vestibular system in the inner ear, which helps us stay balanced and stable.
The height of slides also means that kids have to climb up before they come down. This is an excellent workout for kids. They have to stretch and pull themselves up, which plays a critical role in strengthening their muscles and developing hand-eye coordination.
Swing sets are the backbone of playgrounds. They make children feel like they are free and flying. Children enjoy the freedom on a swing set and love to experience the wind blowing around them.
Walk around a playground, and you will never see better smiles than those of kids on swings. This is the primary reason why swing sets are among the most popular playground equipment.
The concept of swing sets has been around for many years. The idea can be traced back to when individuals used vines and trees to experience enlightening sensations.
This concept has evolved over the years and has led to the development of more complicated swing sets. Some of the common swings you may encounter in a playground include rope swings, tire swings, baby swings, canopy swings, tandem swings, hammock swings, porch swings, and many more.
Swings have been around for as long as you can imagine, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. That is why it is essential for playground owners to continue utilizing them.
The Safety of Swing Sets
Just like slides, swings can lead to injuries if care is not taken during playtime. Playground supervisors need to teach kids how to swing properly, while parents and caregivers need to watch their little ones closely as they swing.
Some of the critical swing set safety measures you need to teach your child include:
- Avoid walking in front or behind a moving swing.
- Avoid standing or kneeling while swinging.
- Always swing while holding both your hands on the chains.
- Do not jump off of the swing while it is in motion.
If you have installed a swing set in your backyard, always inspect it regularly for any loose bolts and its steady capabilities before allowing your kid to jump on it. The concept of safety first can save you from a lot of unexpected things.
Benefits of a Swing Set
Swing sets have always been popular playground equipment, and rightly so. Almost all of us can remember our good old days when we could swing through the air with our legs up and heads back. It was a taste of true freedom and pure exhilaration. Nothing could beat that feeling.
Your kids also want to experience this feeling and enjoy the swing set. Besides that, kids learn a wide range of valuable lessons while swinging. They learn coordination skills and how to increase their speed and height progressively.
Swings provide your little ones with the perfect platform to learn about their body, helping them develop self-esteem, self-confidence, and independence. A swing set also plays a critical role in organ development since it aids in the neurological development of inner ear movements.
The other benefits of a swing set include;
- Larger swings are great for multiple kids and those living with disabilities, which promote social interaction and team spirit.
- They help your kid learn about motion, gravity, and momentum.
- This leads to improved body balance from sitting solitary on the swing set.
Children usually have a biological instinct that encourages them to climb. Although parents and caregivers are always hesitant to allow their little ones to climb, the safest place to do so is on a playground with safety surfacing to minimize the risk of injuries in case of falls.
There are different types of climbers in a playground. They include:
Step climbers are ideal for children aged between 2 and 12 years since most of them come equipped with hand support or rails to maintain balance. Others are designed for older children and come without the rails. These ones are meant to help kids develop balance and confidence.
Incline and Arch Climbers
One of the motor skills that children master first is crawling. Incline and arch climbers are designed to encourage upper and lower body movement because kids may be required to use both arms and legs to ascend the climber. The angle of ascending is slightly sharp to help them develop awareness and right foot balance.
Vertical climbers are the most challenging because they require proper coordination of the hand, arm, and leg movement to navigate up. However, they are also the most rewarding in terms of the amount of workout involved and the boost in kids’ self-confidence.
That type of climb can be quite scary for younger kids, but their older counterparts should be fine with it. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with navigating even half the steps should be enough motivation to push your little one to try it out.
Benefits of Climbers
Playground climbers lead to improved physical strength, balance, and body coordination. Since climbers require kids to use different body parts simultaneously as they navigate their way up, they are forced to learn how to balance and coordinate their body parts.
Climbing equipment can also lead to increased confidence and self-satisfaction. Climbing the steps helps to foster positive emotional growth through children’s self-satisfaction and confidence. The entire process provides your little ones with an opportunity to challenge themselves and find ways of succeeding.
Upon making it to the top of the climber, kids experience the exhilaration of success and the pride that comes with such a massive accomplishment.
That is it about the top three loveable playground equipment by kids. If you are thinking about turning your backyard into a playground for your kids, consider acquiring any of them, and your kids will love it.