When it comes to playground equipment: slides, swings, and markings, it’s important to know the history, the safety, the cost, and all of the other things that go into making a park a great place for children to play confidently with their friends. As parents, it’s helpful for us to know how safe these pieces of equipment are and what you should expect when taking your children to the neighborhood or city park.
It’s especially important to know about the playgrounds that belong to the schools your children go to. How do we know that the parks that are created in schools, are safety regulated and have all of the proper necessities that make parks safe? As parents, we hope that this article can be insightful for you and give you the confidence you need to drop your children off at school with no worries attached.
Here is everything you need to know about essential school playground equipment:
Slides are essential to a park. You can’t have a park without a slide, just like you can’t have a burger joint without servers serving you fresh beef off of the grill. It just doesn’t work. If you have a park without a slide, can you even call it a park? Slides are essential for the fun your child can have while playing.
No one truly knows when the concept of the slide was created. It can be sourced back to hundreds of years when communities from different cultures used ice to slide down hills and mud slides to create opportunities for fun. An example would be cultures in the Northern Hemisphere using ice slopes as a way for quick transportation or engaging with children.
The first slide was invented by Charles Wicksteed in 1922. He is known for creating the Wicksteed Park in the UK after the Great War. Charles Wicksteed was a Unitarian minister and was known for engaging in the anti-slavery movement. He also co-founded the Leeds Education Society. Charles Wicksteed earned the title of slide inventor.
It’s no mystery that parks often lead to accidents. The National Safe Kids Campaign has reported that 200,000 children, under the age of 14, experience injuries while playing at a park every year. These injuries can often be bone fractures, bone breaks, concussions, and more. This is mostly due to children playing on park equipment inappropriately, especially slides.
Who is responsible for these accidents? This answer is: everyone. While it is up to the slide designers and builders to properly construct a slide that is up to safety regulations, it is up to the parents, teachers, and guides to instruct the children on how to properly play on these pieces of equipment. And, of course, it is up to the children to listen.
The types of misuse behavior on slides can be on how a kid goes down a slide, on how a kid climbs up the slide the wrong way, and how children use the slides under poor weather conditions.
One thing that is critical is having playground cushioning in order to prepare for the inevitable. Have you ever played in a park that is grounded with concrete alone? Ouch! Accidents will happen, and children, unfortunately, will often fail to listen to their teachers, parents, or guides. Investing in the proper playground cushioning is critical for accidents that are bound to happen.
The pricing of slides varies per type of slide. Slides that are plastic are the most affordable.
Flat slides can be anywhere from $400 to $800 depending on the height of it. Wavy slides are even more expensive. They can be anywhere from $700 to $1,000. For slides that curve at a 90-degree angle, they can be anywhere from $800 to $1,200. You can also have elite slides that come with gates or impressive arches that range from $1,200 to $3,000. Double or Triple slides can be anywhere from $800 to $1,200. And tunnel slides, our favorite, are the most expensive slides that are out there.
There is no right or wrong slide. There are only slides that are best for you and your children.
Swings are the backbone of our parks. Swings make children feel like they are free and flying. When a child experiences freedom on a swing, they feel at one with the wind that blows around them. We have never seen more smiles, than smiles that are on swings. This is why swings that are properly designed and used are critical for a child’s fun and safety at a park.
The concept of the swing has been around for centuries. Swings came out of nature itself when people used vines and trees to experience this enlightening sensation. One of these natural swings is the lianas, also known as the creeper plant, found in the subtropical forest called Aokigahara near Mount Fuji.
The concept of the swing has evolved over the centuries and has not only been used for fun but also luxury and common living. Some of these swings include the tire swing, rope swings, baby swings, porch swings, canopy swings, hammock swings, tandem swings, and even Kiking that is a sport played mostly in Estonia.
Swings have been around longer than we can date, and they aren’t going anywhere. That is why it is important for parks to continue utilizing them as a main feature, and why it is important to teach proper swing functionality.
Just like the slide, swings have led to various injuries amongst children over the years. As it’s up to the creators and developers to install swings at proper safety regulations, it’s important for the adults to teach kids how to properly swing, and for those kids to listen.
Some of the important things we need to teach our children is to:
- Swing with hold hands holding on to the chains.
- Not walk behind or in front of a moving swing.
- Avoid jumping off of the swings while it is in motion.
- Avoid standing or kneeling while swinging
The parents or guardians should always inspect the swing for loose bolts, and steady capabilities before allowing a child onto a swing. The concept of safety first is not intended to prohibited fun, but allow fun to be expressed at its full capacity without injuries being involved – which is not fun at all.
The cost of a playground can be anywhere from $8,000 to $50,000. It’s easiest to calculate this number by estimated how many children will be using the playground at a time and calculating around $1,000 per child in use.
Swings can be anywhere from $1,000 to $12,000 depending on the type of swing set and the number of swing sets per playground. Just like the slide, having a swing set is critical for a playground to achieve a full level of fun. Swings are important to this fun, and this is why we encourage you to invest in swing sets while planning on executing the proper techniques of swinging that will keep every child safe and having fun.
Playground markings are what give every playground its unique look and feel. All playgrounds are designed around a specific theme. It could have a pirate ship as its main attraction, or it could be designed around the theme of a jungle. Children make memories at playgrounds and playgrounds with memorable markings are what stick to a child’s brain.
The cost of each playground determines on how aggressive you want to get with your theme and how many attractions you plan to have. And when it comes to safety, common sense is usually a key ingredient on how to appropriately approach a playground with unique markings. While unique and custom markings are a rising trend between playgrounds, keeping the phrase “Safety first” will be critical for every child to have a memorable experience at their playground.
These are the reasons why you should consider investing in school playground equipment such as slides, swings, and custom markings. We believe having this knowledge will provide you insight on why it’s important to consider safety while encouraging fun for your children.