A playground isn’t a playground without all the exciting toys, tools and equipment for the users to play around with! Choosing the best playground equipment possible for your playgrounds overall style and design is one of the most important things to get right as a playground owner. In this article, we explore what some of the best playground equipment choices are, and the types of playgrounds they would be a best fit for.
What is playground equipment?
Playground equipment can be defined as any pieces of equipment that playground users play or interact with, ranging from dynamic choices such as seesaws and swings, to static objects such as climbing frames and multiplay structures. Varieties of playground equipment such as these come together to form exciting areas that encourage children to engage in intuitive, dynamic and social activities. But how do you go about choosing the right playground equipment for your playground?
Types of playground equipment
Playground equipment can be categorised in a variety of different ways, such as the materials used in them, the style of play involved and the size of the equipment. If we categorize playground equipment into the areas of play they are used for, you will usually come across the following categories.
Dynamic playground equipment
Dynamic playground equipment is a category that encompasses any items that encourage or utilise movement when being used. Dynamic playground equipment is excellent for developing the motor and social skills of children, and is usually seen in the form of items such as:
- Swings and swingsets
- Playground ziplines
- Spinners, carousels and roundabouts
Static playground equipment
Static playground equipment is a category that covers playground equipment that does not move, and is instead a static object that children can interact with in a range of different ways, play styles and activities. Static play equipment takes the form of products such as:
- Multiplay structures
- Climbing frames, nets and walls
- Trim trails and balancing walls
Inclusive playground equipment
Inclusive playground equipment covers any products that are for children and users of all backgrounds and abilities. These products are perfect for creating a space for everyone with interesting play products and positive areas; products such as:
- Musical play equipment
- Chill out and sensory equipment
- Interactive/educational equipment
- Themed play equipment
Playground equipment materials
Playground equipment not only comes in many different categories, but also a range of materials and finishes. The most common forms of playground equipment generally come in two types of materials; timber and steel. These two types come in a range of further finishes, and each have their own benefits and drawbacks with regards to style, resistances and more. As an example, timber playground equipment may serve better in more rural environments, whereas steel playground equipment might fit better in a more urban setting. In short, the material of your playground equipment may also be a factor that you’ll need to think about during your playground installation.
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What types of playground equipment do I need?
The playground equipment you’ll need for your facilities will depend entirely on the type of playground you are looking to install, your intended users and the number of users you anticipate visiting your playground. Some of the factors you’ll need to consider will include the likes of:
Who’s going to be using your facilities is the first factor you should be thinking about. A school playground, for example, may be more inclined to make the effort to provide inclusive playground equipment for children of differing backgrounds, abilities and needs; specifically with regards for sensory and chill out equipment for children with special needs that need catering to. A public playground aimed at a younger audience would also need to opt for equipment that is suitable for a younger audience, and avoid larger and more dynamic play equipment such as larger slides, multiplay structures and zip lines.
The styles of playground surfacing you choose may affect the types of playground equipment you install; conversely, the playground equipment you already have installed may affect the types of surfacing you can get in terms of safety and other subjective factors such as style. In terms of safety, style and effectiveness, we believe the best playground surfacing choice to be rubber. For more information on the different types of playground surfacing available to you, you can read our blog What is the best playground surfacing?
The overall design and style you are looking to have in your playground may also affect your choice of playground equipment. At Morti Sport & Play, you will find that many of the products we stock come in a wide range of styles, from materials such as timber and steel, to a multitude of different colour choices. If you want your playground to have a consistent style or theme, you can find many of our play products in a wide range of themes such as nautical, natural and more.
Whether you are operating on a more limited budget or have money to spend, we stock a huge variety of play equipment and products that can cater towards all types of budgets. You may need to consider prioritising the types of equipment that you most want to provide over others; for example, a larger multiplay structure to serve as the centrepiece of your playground. You may even need to consider whether to prioritise your playground surfacing and playground fencing over equipment – it all depends on your budget and goals with your playground installation.
Resistance, maintenance & durability
A final factor that may concern you is how resistant and durable you will need your equipment to be, as well as potential future maintenance costs. There are many factors that can go into this; is your playground in a highly-trafficked area with lots of visitors and footfall, is it in an area which may be more susceptible to vandalism and damage, or is it in a more remote location? These factors can affect how much wear your equipment will see over time, as well as your decisions regarding how much of a priority durability of your playground equipment is.
How do I choose the best playground equipment?
Before you begin selecting playground equipment you need to identify a budget, available space, target users, the type of experience you wish to provide and a priority list of equipment types. We specialise in creating amazing sport and play experiences for budgets of all sizes, and we're on-hand to support you through this process. Contact our experts and we can discuss your project in detail and advise you on the various options you have based on your specific goals and space.