School outdoor playground equipment comes in all shapes, sizes and designs. It also comes in designs suitable for a wide range of age groups, all of which provide all kinds of different benefits for the children playing.
Are you looking for the perfect outdoor play equipment for your school? You’ve some exciting decisions to make. To help you get started planning the perfect playground we’ve made a simple and easy guide to follow so that you can pick the perfect pieces to suit your schools outdoor space:
First Things First, What Are Your Needs?
It is important to think about your practical needs as a school when it comes to your outdoor play equipment. You’ll need to think about certain factors, such as the following:
- Are there children who have special needs/ accessibility requirements?
- What playground equipment do you already have? Does any need to be replaced?
- How big is your playground?
- How old are the children who use your playground?
- How many children will use the playground at the same time?
- What is your budget? Do you have any funding?
- Does the playground have surfaces in good condition?
Understanding the various aspects of your functional needs for the playground is important. It will also help you to get accurate information together so that you can contact a trusted playground equipment supplier and get an accurate quote. You’ll also be able to refine the types of equipment that will suit your needs as a school best.
When choosing your equipment there are certain considerations that you should never negotiate on. Equipment designed for children to use at school has to be:
- Safe, according to all the latest legal standards and guidelines
- Easy to maintain and/ or have a company do that for you
- Looks beautiful and in-keeping with the rest of the schools aesthetic
A reputable school playground equipment company should be more than happy to discuss the finer details of their equipment with you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and push to ensure you know all you need to know about the equipment.
Considering Different Playground Equipment Types
When you choose playground equipment there are various different factors to consider, including the material, target-age, benefits and how the items work together in your playground as a whole play area design.
Generally, the materials you should expect to see are wood, plastic and metal. Most equipment is a combination of at least two of those materials, and all should be made with durable, weather-proofed, non-toxic versions of those materials.
Lots of equipment can suit children of a wide age range, but some is suited to younger children (up to the age of 5), and some, more suited to children who are a little older. Lots of imaginative play pieces like mud kitchens are great for little ones, as well as climbing frames and bridges that are of a smaller size, perfect for little legs. Equipment for older children may be higher, more complex and perfectly designed to provide stimulation and fun for a more mature age group.
Every piece of playground equipment has at least one benefit. Some have multiple benefits. For most playground pieces like swing sets, the benefits are physical exercise, including gross and fine motor skills development, as well as a boost of social skills, imaginative play and encouragement of time in nature. Every different piece of equipment demands or suggests certain movements, like gripping, climbing, swinging, pushing and pulling and all of those movements have different benefits. All of these movements and/ or benefits can be combined in one piece of equipment, such as a climbing frame.
Overall Playground Design
For schools with mixed age-groups they may choose to have equipment that suits the widest age range of kids, or split the playground into two sections – one for younger kids and one for older kids. Splitting the playground into two helps with managing the safety of children during break times and can be done with fencing and gates. The same thing can be done if you have children with special needs, who may benefit from a piece of equipment like a log swing with DDA seat which could be placed separately from the main play areas for greater accessibility, depending on the layout of your outdoor space.
The design of your playground will also be greatly influenced by the square footage available and that has to include enough space for equipment to be used safely. Most equipment requires clearance around it to ensure children using it are as safe as possible, especially equipment that involves height and falls risks, such as a tower, or swings.
The best thing to do is speak to a professional playground equipment company and they can advise you on different design options according to your needs.
It is a great idea to consider different surfaces and playground markings when planning your playground design. It can help the area to be more coherent and eye-catching aesthetically and encourage educational learning and imaginative play if you choose markings like snakes and ladders, or hopscotch. Surfacing like artificial grass, grass savers, vivid grass and wet pour can also enhance playground safety, as well as creating different play zones and an overall more exciting and engaging visual scheme that encourages children to play.
Speak To A Professional Playground Equipment Company For More Information Today
If you would love expert help from a company with lots of experience in creating stunning, safe, engaging playgrounds for schools, speak to an expert today. They can give you all the information you need, and talk you through your options. You’ll then have a much better idea of your options, as well as a transparent and detailed quote to use for help with funding.
Hopefully, with the right supplier and playground design the kids in your care will soon be enjoying an incredible new playground that provides them with hours and hours of fun in the fresh air.