If you go to virtually any outdoor playground across North America, you are basically guaranteed to see a slide of some sort. Not only that, but you’re bound to witness eager and excited faces lined up to go down it! After all, slides are exhilarating, fast, and fun for children of several age groups!
Most children are naturally thrill seekers and fearless when it comes to exploring their surrounding environments, as this is how much of their learning process works. With that said, in a world that is surrounded in safety guidelines and monitored behaviors, the slide is one of few places a child can freely experience a high level of adrenalin and joy without worrying about a potential injury or significant injury anyways. You don’t hear of children hurting themselves on slides too often, do you?
Ask any child what piece of playground equipment they enjoy the most, and we guarantee you that the majority of answers will be a fast moving slide. So why exactly do kids love the slide experience so much? What advantages do slides provide as an addition to an outdoor or indoor playground?
Original Playground Slides
Historically speaking, the first playground slides were designed out of wood, which of course is slightly unnerving to think about, when considering all those painful slivers that are sure to take place! Thankfully this didn’t last long, and metal slides were the newly constructed material used for slides. Unfortunately, metal slides would too often crack, rust, or separate which lead to injuries; not to mention, the shallow rails of these particular slides led to more safety concerns. Summer months would cause the metal to heat up leading to the risk of burns. With these issues in mind, metal slides are now a very rare site in playgrounds, and in fact, are banned entirely in a lot of regions.
Today you will find that the majority of slides you see are made from rotational-molded plastic, and provide quality safety rails with non-stick surfaces. With this new design method, children can enjoy exciting speed down slides of a variety of styles, all in a safe and simple manner.
Advantages of Slides for Children
- Slides inspire confidence and exploration. While the sliding motion is thrill-seeking and fun, it also requires the courage to climb to the top of the slide structure to make the initial rapid movement down the slide, which may take some getting used to and confidence to do so. It’s an incredible accomplishment for children when they face that scary task of a tall slide and make it down to the bottom with a smile.
- Slides provide a perfect motivator for physical activity; to go down that slide you must first put in the effort to climb it!
- Slides are encouraging to kids and invigorating to play on. As such children will climb almost anything if it means going down a slide. Often they simply continue this pattern of up and down the slide over and over again because of its immediate excitement. This ongoing behavior teaches children about balance, coordination, and spatial awareness, while they make their way to the top of the slide.
- The slide also teaches children social skills and organization. Children immediately learn how to wait their turn, remaining patient while those ahead of them slide down first.
At SPI, we are a leader in playground equipment and design a selection of unique, customizable slides for both indoor and outdoor playgrounds.
Contact our team of professionals if you’re interested in starting your own slide project and have questions about our designs and products. Reach us at 519-935-2211.