The 10 Most Important Things to Look for In Playground Equipment

While playgrounds are fun and exciting for the kids, they should also be safe for the children to truly enjoy various playground activities. Here are the top 10 critical factors to consider when purchasing playground equipment for your little one.

When a child is playing outside in the summertime, they need to have a safe place to enjoy themselves. There are many different types of playground equipment that can be installed in your backyard or at your local park. But, there are many things you need to consider when purchasing playground equipment to ensure your little one is always safe.

So, what are the most important things to look for in playground equipment? The most important things to look for in playground equipment are safety, durability, and upkeep. Safety is the most crucial aspect because children will be playing on it. Durability is also very important so that your investment lasts for years. You should also consider the amount of time and effort required to keep up with the maintenance.

Read on to learn more about the crucial factors you should consider when buying playground equipment:

Common Types of Playground Equipment

Before discussing some of the crucial things you need to look for in playground equipment, let us have a quick recap on some of the most common playground equipment available.

Here are some of the common types of playground equipment that you can choose from:

1. Swings

Swings come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose. You want to get a swing set with at least one infant seat, two toddler seats, and two regular seats for older children or more than one child.

A toddler having on the bucket swing set.
When purchasing a swing set, make sure it offers at least one toddler seat.

2. A-Frames

A-frames are great for kids who have just started walking. It gives them a chance to practice balancing as they go up and down the steps on an A-frameset with handrails or other support structures, which is why it’s very important to look at the quality of these playground components.

3. Slides

Slides can be straight, curved, or even multi-level. You want to make sure that the playground slide you buy has a smooth surface made of plastic or metal material. The slide should also have safety features like handrails and side rails on both sides to prevent falls.

4. Monkey Bars

Monkey bars are a great area for kids to practice climbing skills. The monkey bars must be made of high-quality materials and have proper handrails on all sides, so children don’t fall or get injured.

A girl crossing the monkey bar.
Make sure the monkey bars feature proper handrails for the kids to stay safe while climbing and swinging.

5. Playhouse

A playhouse is a great way to give kids their own private space. It’s also an awesome place where they can practice using different tools like hammers, nails, and saws safely.

You should only buy equipment with the proper safety features for your child to stay safe when playing outside during summertime!

Crucial Things You Should Look for In Playground Equipment

Now let us talk about some of the crucial factors you should look for in playground equipment.

1. Safety

Safety is perhaps the most crucial thing to check while buying playground equipment. All outdoor equipment should be thoroughly checked by a professional for any potential hazards.

These may include sharp corners, uneven surfaces, loose bolts or fasteners, and corrosion in metal components, among other things.

A boy having fun on the swing set.
As the safety of your kids is paramount, always check safety hazards when purchasing playground equipment.

It is also essential to ensure the structure of playground equipment meets all applicable local building codes and product safety standards, such as ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials).

2. Surface Type

The surface type of a playground is very important too. If the equipment will be placed indoors, carpeting or rubber surfacing would be appropriate.

However, if it’s going outdoors, then you need to consider drainage and erosion control.

For example, gravel can become slippery when wet, while grass has poor drainage properties. Also, grass can be difficult to maintain and may require reseeding.

3. Durability

Playground equipment is a significant investment. Therefore, you should ensure that you are investing your money in something that can be a source of fun and joy for your children for many years.

Check to see if the playground equipment has any signs of rust or corrosion. This could be due to a lack of proper surface treatment and paint on metal components.

You should also ensure that all bolts, fasteners, chains, etc., are tight and have no sharp edges. Check for cracks in plastic surfaces, too, which can cause injury when they break.

4. Height Requirements

Children of different ages can benefit from using playground equipment. This includes toddlers, school-age children, and older kids who want to play with their friends or siblings.

Two girls on tire swing.
You should always check the minimum height requirement as some equipment can be too low for school-age children and too tall for toddlers.

The height requirements for each one will depend on the type of equipment being used, i.e., a slide vs. a swing, etc. You should always check the minimum height requirement as some equipment can be too low for school-age children and too tall for toddlers.

5. User Usage

The kind of user is also critical to consider when buying playground equipment.

Heavy-duty playsets are generally the best option if you have a day camp or a large residential area using them.

Playgrounds that are frequently used by older kids may need more durable equipment such as metal swing sets.

6. Required Maintenance

What amount of effort do you need to put in to keep the equipment in good condition?

Keep in mind that outdoor equipment will require a lot of maintenance. Also, check if repairs and replacements can be done easily and without any hassles.

Carefully assess the amount of time and money required to keep the equipment in perfect condition and choose accordingly.

7. Budget

The other thing you need to consider when looking for playground equipment is how much money you are willing to spend on it.

Many factors determine the price of playground structures, but your primary goal should be to acquire a good structure at a relatively affordable price.

However, you shouldn’t let money be the main deciding factor when looking for playground equipment. In some cases, you need to be flexible and willing to spend a little bit more for the sake of your little ones.

Therefore, you shouldn’t feel bad about spending a little more on quality playground equipment that will serve your children for many years. That way, you will also save a lot of money in the long run because replacing some structures can be quite expensive if you make a mistake on your first purchase.

Don’t rush into buying a playground structure just because it’s on sale at an attractive price. That way, you will end up with cheap materials and poor craftsmanship, which defeats the purpose of spending your hard-earned money in the first place.

You should also avoid getting a structure that is too cheap because it can be quite flimsy and unstable.

8. Maximum Child Capacity

Another important thing is to know the maximum capacity of a swing set, slide, etc., before buying it.

It’s always good to have enough space on your equipment so that all kids can play at once without bumping into each other or disrupting their activities.

Kids having fun.
Always consider the max child capacity of playground equipment to keep the kids safe.

In addition to knowing how many children you want, carefully read through the product manual and ensure that the equipment can accommodate the number of children you have in mind.

9. Construction Material

The kind of material used in the construction is another critical thing to look for when purchasing playground equipment.

Check if it’s made from durable materials such as metal and plastic. If you have many kids playing on your equipment, you should definitely get something that can withstand heavy weight loads without deteriorating quickly over time.

If possible, choose a structure that can take some natural wear and tear because it will save you money on repairs in the long run.

Most importantly, don’t forget to get your kids involved when selecting playground equipment, so they know what their preferences are. You should also consult with other parents who have kids around the same age as yours to see which structures they like the most.

10. Ease of Installation

Lastly, consider how easily the equipment can be installed. Many new parents usually have no idea about what installation entails, and that’s why they make mistakes.

Many manufacturers will give you some basic information on this, but it’s always better to choose a structure that comes with detailed instructions and diagrams for easy understanding.

If possible, get playground equipment that is easy to disassemble and assemble so you can easily transport it if needed.

Be aware that some structures will need specialized equipment for installation, such as cranes or forklifts. If possible, get a structure that requires minimal tools to set up the entire thing.

Remember that your children’s safety should be your top priority, so exercise caution when installing the equipment.

Final Thought

When you’re in the market for playground equipment, it can be difficult to know what factors are most important. With so many options available, finding an option that works best at your site and within your budget may seem like a daunting task.

We hope this blog post has helped clear up some of those questions by offering suggestions on safety features, surface type, durability requirements, height requirements (both restrictions and recommended), user usage needs (maximum capacity as well as maintenance frequency), budgetary concerns (cost vs. life span), construction material types with pros/cons associated with each choice and installation ease.

If there is anything we didn’t cover or if you have any other questions pr suggestions, please let us know in the comments section below.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

read this next

Playgrounds are not only a great place to take the kids on sunny days, but they’re a great place to work up a sweat yourself! Whether you prefer to workout as a family or you need a little me time, these 5 playground games will keep your heart rate up and your kids’ minds positive.
Before you head over to the store or go online searching for a new playset for your children, take the time to consider these seven important tips. Then, follow through to the next step to choose the right playset that is going to provide years of enjoyment for your children.
If you have a playground in your backyard, you should definitely consider shading the area to make it more functional and convenient all year round. Here are some of the best ways to shade your outdoor playground.
Backyard playsets are worth the money if used correctly. You child can use a backyard playset for years to come. Allow your child to have fun with this Backyard playset. The set includes a slide, swing, rock climbing wall, ladder and rope bridge.
Slides are a fun, beneficial addition to a playground. With the nine slide types and the variations that come from combining them, you can have a slide or slides that suit the developmental, safety, and play needs of nearly any age group or demographic
The cost of an outdoor playset varies depending on the type, size, construction materials and the place that you purchase it. An average price is just under $2,000 to have a basic playset with swing, slide, surfacing and picnic table which is about 6 feet by 6 feet. The more elaborate or larger variety will most likely cost more.
A teeter-totter and a seesaw can be considered as identical pieces of playground equipment, but the main difference is that teeter-totters are capable of moving horizontally and can be used by more than two children simultaneously.
It might come down to price and that shiny look, but there’s a lot more when choosing between a wooden playset or a metallic playset for your backyard. Take the time to find out the advantages and disadvantages of each type of set and do your homework to be sure you’re really making the best choice for your family.
As parents we need to be mindful of what our children do with their time. Exercise is critical and vital to our child’s physical, social, mental, and emotional development. As part of their daily fitness routine there are some great ways to encourage your child to use the playground for health and fitness.
The sandbox that is outside in your backyard is a great way to keep the kids busy and entertained, but with those benefits comes the task of cleaning out and replacing the sand once it gets dirty. Sandboxes are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, so knowing how often you should change sand in the sandbox is imperative to keeping your child healthy.
A wooden swing set is built to last, but it won’t last forever if you overload the platform. Extra weight on the platform will not only shorten its lifespan, but it can also lead to a fall. Just how much weight can your swing set hold? We have the answers!
Before you can begin installing your backyard playset, or any play equipment for that matter, it is vital that you prepare the ground where you plan on placing it. Whether you are planning on installing a swing set, a climbing frame, or a playhouse, if the soil has not been properly prepared beforehand, it could cause future problems with the durability of your equipment.
Playground games offer a wonderful way to keep your kids busy and foster various kinds of development. There are different playground games suitable for, toddler, teenage kids and parents.
A Natural Playground is designed to be as natural and free from human influence as possible. It is created in a way that provides opportunities for play and exploration that are found in nature, rather than being restricted to the more traditional playground equipment seen in many public parks.
A good playground is a place of discovery that offers your child new experiences every time he/she is there. It encourages your little ones to express themselves and showcase their creative and imaginative skills.
A wooden swing set can be a great toy for kids. It provides hours of fun and exercise. It also creates a space where kids can create friendships and develop social skills. However, wooden swing sets need proper care to last for a long time. But how long?
Your kids want to have a jungle gym at your house? You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars building an expensive one? We’ll show you how you can build one fast and easily with minimum cost.

Receive the latest news

Get Our Playground Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest promos, tips, advices, and much more!

Your privacy is important to us.