A safe, inviting playground for children and families is essential to creating meaningful, shared experiences. The physical space of a playground needs to be carefully constructed to provide the best possible experience for all using it. Whether you’re equipping your school’s play area or in your community, having the correct items are vital in ensuring that everyone can have fun without fear of injury or harm. This article looks at seven essential pieces that make up a great playground. Read on as we explore how these items combine to create an innovative, interactive environment suitable for everyone’s enjoyment.
#1. Playground Surfacing
Playground surfacing is arguably the most important part of any playground. This material, usually made of rubber, mulch, or sand, helps cushion falls and reduces children’s risk of injury while they play. It also provides stability for playground equipment and prevents it from sinking into the ground over time. Be sure to choose a material that is thick enough to provide adequate protection against impact injuries, and ensure it has been tested for lead content if necessary.
#2. Playground Equipment
This one is obvious but no less important! Playground equipment such as slides, activity panels, and climbing structures provide hours of fun for children while giving their imaginations free rein. When choosing playground equipment, you must ensure that any items you choose are age-appropriate and meet safety guidelines. Look for pieces made from sturdy materials with no sharp edges or hazardous components.
#3. Shade Structures
The sun can be tricky; too little and kids won’t venture out; too much and they get overheated or sunburned. Installing a shade structure is easy to ensure that the playground receives just the right amount of sunlight for hours of safe, enjoyable play. Look for structures made from UV-resistant materials such as polyethylene fabric or vinyl that will provide optimal protection from the elements.
#4. Benches and Seating
Having seating options in the playground is important for encouraging kids to take breaks from all the fun and providing a place for parents and caretakers to relax while overseeing play. Look for benches explicitly designed for playgrounds, such as those made from recycled plastic or all-weather composite materials, durable enough to withstand outdoor elements and rough play.
#5. Playground Fencing
Playground fencing helps keep children safe by keeping them within a designated area while also protecting them from any potential hazards beyond the perimeter. When choosing a fence, look for materials that will provide security without blocking out views of the surrounding environment or feeling too restrictive. Polyethylene or galvanized steel mesh fences are both good options for playgrounds. Fencing can also help provide additional safety by helping to keep out animals or other unwanted visitors.
#6. Include Accessibility
Making sure your playground is accessible to everyone is key to creating a truly inclusive environment. Consider equipment that can be used by wheelchair users, as well as pieces that can help reduce the risk of injury or falls. Ensure that pathways and surfacing are flat and free from tripping hazards, and consider adding ramps for wheelchair access.
#7. Needed Extras
Lastly, some things may not necessarily be considered essential but are still important when equipping your playground. These include things such as garbage cans and recycling bins to keep the area clean, as well as water fountains for those hot days. Lights can also be added to provide extra safety in the evenings. Be sure to include these extras to make your playground the best it can be!
With these seven essential pieces in place, you have a great foundation for creating an imaginative, interactive environment suitable for everyone’s enjoyment. No matter what size or type of playground you are equipping, following these tips will help ensure that children and families alike can safely and happily play together in an enjoyable setting. While there may be other items to add on depending on your needs and preferences, having these basics covered is the first step in making sure you create a safe and inviting space.
Looking to build a new outdoor playground? SPI Plastics can help! Contact us today to learn more about our selection of outdoor playgrounds and how we can equip your space with the perfect pieces for a safe, fun experience.