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What are the Different Types of Modern Commercial Playground Equipment?

10/18/2013 10:38:13 AM | by Anonymous

Playground Equipment

A playground also known as play area is a place with specific design for children to play. It can be situated either indoors or outdoors. Modern playgrounds nowadays often have recreational equipments such as the swing, slide, seesaw, merry go round, chin up bars, monkey bars, playhouses, sandbox, trapeze rings, mazes and etc. Many of these help children to develop physical coordination, flexibility and strength as well as providing enjoyment and recreation. Some playgrounds also have facilities for playing informal games of adult sports. This includes a basketball court, skating arena, baseball diamond and etc. Public playground equipment refers to the equipment intended for use in the play areas.


In the past ten years, the world of commercial playground equipment has grown immensely. Gone were the days of playgrounds with one or two slides, a simple jungle gym and something to spin on. These days, modern commercial playground equipment is made of an array of dizzying materials that comes in hundreds of colours and shapes which are able to provide every sort of stimulus imaginable.


A commercial playground would first begin with the structure of the ground. Substances such as mulch or wood chips were used to provide a somewhat soft landing for children. However, these materials posed more harm than ensuring the safety of the children. They could cut and gouge some might even contain splinters. Modern playgrounds have now switched to the use of soft synthetics such as PermaLife as a base. These rubberized floors can ensure that children who fall will not risk ending up with painful bruises or scratches.


Additionally, most commercial playground equipments used to be made out of either metal or wood; it is becoming a common sight for modern playgrounds to be made from plastics. Plastics are not only softer; they also result in fewer injuries. They are also easily installed and come with a wide assortment of colors. Commercial playgrounds are now able to captivate children’s visual sense as they provide physical entertainment at the same time.


Commercial playground equipment can be divided into five main types. The five main types are balancing, climbing, hanging, spinning and sliding. Slides can either be covered or uncovered, bumpy or smooth, curving or straight, steel or plastic, with or without a jump attached at the end. They typically range from short four foot (1.2m) to tall twelve foot (3.6m). They may also stand alone with a ladder or be attached to a larger play structure.


When most people are asked to think of spinning commercial playground equipment, the first thing they would think of is the classic roundabout. Large metal disc children can sit on while it is spun. It is a modern variant of the spinning toy that features a straight pole with a curve at the top and a small standing platform at the base. As more and more commercial playgrounds start to remove the old roundabouts due to various safety concerns, newer modern spinning toys are also replacing them.


Log rolls, balance beams and stepping stones are some of the many commercial playground equipment that aids in the development of a good balance sense. These offer good ground level activities for a playground as they help to build important dexterity skills at the same time.


For hanging activities, a number of pieces of commercial playground equipment exists. For the traditional old school rolling bars to monkey bars, to strange shapes and twists, to hanging trapezes, they are enough options made available to challenge a wide range of ages and skill levels.


Climbing activities are also one of the newer areas of commercial playground equipment. They come in one of three main configurations; a large flat plane with bubbles to hold on to and climb, cargo net configurations or bar lattices akin to angled monkey bars.


Adding on, there is a new area of innovation in commercial playground equipment to focus on activity panels. This would include alphabet board, spinning blocks with images and words or large mirrors. With more developmental psychologists being brought on board the creation of playground equipment, it is now more likely that new and exciting pieces of playground equipment will continue to emerge in the next few years to come.

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