Playgrounds provide a haven for children to get outside, learn and grow. Because free play is a vital part of child development, you want sturdy, dependable playground equipment that enhances your students’ outdoor playtime. With the ideal playground, kids can get the physical activity, lifelong skills and strong relationships they need for a healthy lifestyle.
Playgrounds are available in any design you can think of, and a wide range of colours. To find what’s best for your school, you should research, explore your options and make an informed decision. We’ve created a guide to help you choose school playground equipment your students are sure to love.
Tips for Choosing Playground Equipment
Picking the proper playground equipment ensures your students have fun, enriching experiences for years to come. Playgrounds come in countless shapes, sizes and forms, so how do you choose the best playground equipment? Three key factors will allow you to make the best choice:
1. Consider Age Groups
Children of different ages have different interests and capabilities. Playground equipment should cover your school’s age range, whether your students are in junior kindergarten or adolescence. With age-appropriate equipment, you can prevent injuries and give children a safe, enjoyable way to exert energy and develop lifelong skills. You’ll need the right equipment for multiple age groups, which includes:
- Toddlers: Playhouses, climbing structures and sensory activities
- Preschoolers: Balance beams, spinners and tire swings
- Elementary school: Seesaws, overhead rings and freestanding climbing activities
- Older children: Monkey bars, outdoor fitness equipment and oversized climbers
2. Look for Variety
If your students have numerous ways to roam and explore, every day becomes an adventure and opportunity to grow. Having a variety of structures and play areas minimizes playtime squabbles and encourages kids to try different activities. A diverse playground can also accommodate a wider age range, ensuring kids big and small have an appropriate playing space.
Give children of all ages and abilities a chance to play by making sure your playground is inclusive and compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). With plenty of slides, ramps and swings to choose from, an assortment of playground equipment lets everyone have fun the way they want.
3. Invest in High Quality
A durable, sustainable playground allows for many generations of play, laughter and growth. Your playground equipment should stand up to natural wear and tear as well as Canadian weather. Investing in high-quality equipment saves you money on future maintenance costs and keeps recess fun and safe every day.
School Playground Equipment Options
Taking the time to research ensures your students experience the full benefits of new playground equipment. Before choosing equipment, you should:
- Educate yourself on CSA standards: The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) outlines everything you need to know about playground safety. You should be familiar with the current CSA standards to ensure your playground is compliant and safe for use.
- Assess your school’s and students’ needs: You can perform a playground audit to determine what’s right for you. Consider factors such as playground size and layout, your students’ ages, playground capacity and special accommodations.
- Review your existing equipment: If you’ve previously installed equipment, a thorough evaluation helps you decide what to replace or search for based on current condition and student popularity.
- Decide on your budget: Your budget should accommodate playground equipment costs and any additional services, such as site preparation, storage and installation. Find a trustworthy supplier with many budget-friendly and high-quality options.
- Consider amenities: Extra site furnishings keep your playground clean, safe and accessible. Both children and supervising adults can benefit from amenities like benches, litter receptacles and signs.
School playground equipment is as diverse as the children you care for. Once you’ve determined the equipment type you need, it’s time to find it! Check out these options for exceptional quality and long-lasting fun:
- Commercial playground equipment: When you envision a school playground, commercial equipment is what comes to mind. Experienced manufacturers like Little Tikes Commercial and Miracle Recreation have durable and exciting play structures for kids of any age.
- Custom and themed playgrounds: A custom playground lets you cater to your students’ preferences and needs. With a trusted team, you can design a one-of-a-kind playground that promotes childhood development and physical activity. The best playground designers will work with your budget to create a unique play space for your kids.
- Sensory playground equipment: Sensory playground equipment provides children with a peaceful environment to explore on their own terms. Sensory equipment comes in numerous forms, from nature-based structures to auditory and kinesthetic ones. Children who prefer quieter forms of play will benefit from these soothing spaces, especially children with autism.
- Outdoor fitness equipment: Students can have a complete workout experience with outdoor exercise equipment like TrekFit. These low-maintenance, customizable circuits will benefit the entire body.
Benefits of Installing School Playground Equipment
Recess is more than having fun. Play is essential for physical, emotional and social development. By installing playground equipment, you can provide students with a safe space to push their boundaries and try new things. Kids can enjoy the numerous benefits of quality play equipment, including:
- Inclusivity: An inclusive playground makes play accessible to all children. Interacting with other kids of different backgrounds also promotes an open mind and social growth.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity is a must for developing strength and lifelong healthy habits. When every minute of activity counts, you can rely on a playground to give your children guaranteed workout time, even at school.
- Socialization: A playground is a perfect place to forge new friendships and hone social skills. Kids can learn valuable lessons through play, such as sharing and emotional expression.
- Learning opportunities: Many play structures feature panels and instructional activities that let students practice what they learn in class.
- Creativity: Free play is a chance for kids to let their imaginations run wild. Whether it’s a game of make-believe or hide and seek, playground equipment allows children to explore their emotions and ideas.
- Safety: Reliable equipment offers safe ways to romp and play. Children can focus on having fun knowing they’re in a secure environment with durable play structures.
Browse Playground Equipment Brands by PlayPower Canada
For top-quality school and daycare playground equipment, trust PlayPower Canada. We pride ourselves on supplying schools throughout Canada with colourful, robust equipment for years of fun and enjoyment. Our various options can accommodate students of any age and ability because we believe every child should be able to play their way.