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Buying Guide

How to Choose School Playground Equipment

School Playground Equipment

The school playground is one of the most important places in our young students’ lives. From the time that children start preschool, all the way through the end of elementary school, the playground is the main place where they spend breaks and recess. Playground equipment isn’t there just for fun, it actually helps kids develop important motor skills and problem-solving skills. Playgrounds can also be quite an investment. Before you choose the coolest-looking or most reasonably-priced option based on your instincts, there are some very important things to consider.

Why are school playgrounds important?

When kids have the opportunity to go out and get some fresh air, they are also developing important life skills along the way. The school playground allows them to climb, jump, swing, and slide. All of these movements are important building blocks of the gross motor skills that they will constantly need to use throughout their lives. The sandbox can be a great venue for children to work on sensory play. Many playgrounds also include extra games and activities which help develop fine motor skills as well.

What kind of playground equipment is good for schools?

Like any question of school furniture, everything depends on your space and who will be using it. Getting the best possible quality, with the highest capacity is definitely something to strive for. When choosing the optimal equipment, make sure to check how many students can play on it at once, and look at every activity that is included. Of course you want to focus on the big things, like slides, ladders and monkey bars, but a lot of today’s designs really utilize the space by including panels with additional activities under the main equipment and on the higher platforms.

How can you keep students safe on the playground?

School playground safety is extremely important. Of course, you should make sure that any equipment you choose has passed all of the proper safety inspections and certifications, but that is not enough. Safe equipment that is not installed correctly is extremely dangerous. It is of utmost importance that you pay attention to and follow all of the installation instructions properly. Usually this means getting the equipment professionally installed, according to the guidelines for whatever particular pieces you choose.

How can I enhance the school playground design?

Beyond choosing the main equipment, there are lots of extras that can be added to enhance everyone’s experience. Outdoor garbage cans should be placed in convenient places, so students and teachers will be encouraged to keep the area looking nice. This is especially important if you have an outdoor eating area near the playground, but even if you don’t, there will still be times when students will have things they need to throw away outside, and they will probably not make the effort to dispose of them properly if there aren’t trash cans nearby. Another wonderful addition is a few park benches, where teachers can sit and supervise during recess, and students can take a time out to catch their breath and get a drink of water.

What belongs on an ADA compliant playground?

The good news is there are so many easy ways to get an ADA compliant playground that all of your students can enjoy. A serious company will know exactly how to accommodate your students who have mobility challenges. Things as simple as putting in ramps instead of steps, and adding a special swing can make all the difference. When you choose to install a wheelchair-accessible playground, you let all students feel welcome, loved and accepted.

Choosing a school playground is not a decision that is to be taken lightly. Because it requires a considerable investment, it is worth putting in the time and energy to make the right choice. Make sure to consider all of your students and faculty when thinking about layout, extras, and capacity. By making a smart choice, you will be enabling generations of students to develop important skills, while having a great time at recess.

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