5 Things to look for when purchasing playground equipment
Whether you are shopping for playground equipment for your yard or for a school or business in which you work, there are many things that you should consider before making a purchase. Playground equipment can add a great deal of enjoyment to a child’s life, but must be built with sturdy materials and offer safety features that will help a child play regardless of their developmental level. Great playgrounds often provide activities for a wide range of ages and abilities. This article will highlight some things to look for before committing to purchasing playground equipment.
- Materials. Playgrounds should be constructed with sturdy materials that can withstand the test of time. Many playgrounds of the past were built with wood and while they did last a good amount of time, after awhile wood would decay, rot, or become home to wood-eating insects that would make the equipment faulty. Not to mention wood is often sprayed with chemicals that may be toxic. After wood was determined as unsavory, many playgrounds were then built with plastic but over the recent years, with the world moving towards being more green, companies are offering equipment made with more environmentally friendly materials. Recycled Plastic is a leading material used to build playgrounds these days as it helps the environment, lasts a long time, and is cost effective.
- The surface under the playground equipment is very important as it can help a child if they fall down. It is recommended that you place your playground on top of a rubber mat or wood chips as soil can erode and cause structural sensitivity. This could pose a threat to children who are playing on the playground as it could cause injury.
- Space swings apart. While it may be tempting to put swings close together so that children can converse with one another, it is actually better to allow for some spacing in between as it can prevent accidents from happening. If the swings are too close together they could become intertwined or a child could bump into another. You want to make sure that your spacing is about 24 inches apart.
- Choose age appropriate equipment. While most playgrounds are made so that they are versatile and can entertain kids of all ages, you will still want to consider the age group in which you are targeting. For example, if you work at a school that offers a playground to children who are 8 years of age or older, you will not want to provide a playground that does not appeal to them and would be more suitable for a younger child.
Choose equipment that can be maintained. While there are some playgrounds that are sold on the cheap, you will want to make sure that you invest in equipment that can be maintained and will last throughout the years. You will want to make sure that if a piece breaks, it is easily replaced. In addition, you want to make sure that the paint will not chip which could be toxic to children. Plastics have become a popular choice for many of these reasons including less toxicity.