Choosing the right school playground equipment can be more of a challenge than you would first think. Initially, the idea of picking out the right equipment for a school playground seems like a pretty simple process. What can be easier? Grab two slides, the monkey bars, one of those little plastic forts that so popular, maybe a merry-go-round and you’re done right? Actually, a well-thought-out school playground needs every section to be planned and needs to make sure that there are appropriate outdoor toys for children of all ages.
When you think about it, a good school or public park has to think about the needs of a variety of children. You have ages 1 to 6 that range from toddlers to little first-graders, slightly older kids going into early middle school, and finally older children and pre-teens. This even affects what type playground you can get. After all, the right slide for a two or three year old is not going to look anything like the best type of slide for fifth or sixth graders.
Suddenly choosing the right school playground equipment, especially when working within a budget, doesn’t look so easy does it? This is the type of decision that needs to be made on a consistent basis when looking at providing an exceptional playground for school, or for the general community.
The first step is to have a solid understanding of your budget and the amount of space you have to work with. Obviously if you’re working in a really small space, you want to avoid spending most of the budget on one large series of plastic crawl tunnels and slides that take up 80% of the space and generally are only good for kids 5-6 years old or younger. This would reduce the usefulness of the school playground for everyone else.
On the other hand, having some old school swings that even older students can enjoy is a great way to go, but you also have to take into consideration how high those swings go and the amount of area that needs to be clear so it’s safe for people to run around the playground without any danger of getting hit by someone on the swings.
The other option that not enough people think about is actually customizing their school playground equipment to optimally fit into school playground setting and serve the makeup of their current neighborhood. Unbeknownst to many people, most companies that build and produce school playground equipment offer the ability to customize designs to meet your specific needs. This might cost a little bit more, but is an extremely smart way to go to make sure you get the playground that you want.
Make sure to ask about these options, and be careful to balance out the needs of each age group of students. By doing this, you will already be halfway to getting a top-notch school playground that the entire community can use, and that the entire community can be truly proud of.