A playground is a place specially created to provide children with an environment to play. It is usually designed and equipped with facilities for recreation or amusement, usually outdoors. It is an area where kids can express their childish nature while developing their emotional, social, and physical skills.
When choosing the perfect backyard playset, there are things you have to consider, such as safety measures, the materials used, children’s age, and the space itself. We must also review the types of playground equipment and the playsets we want for our kids.
In this article, we will discuss how to choose the perfect backyard playset. Knowing the factors to consider before buying and installing playground equipment will prevent putting your children in danger.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Backyard Playset
Research shows that playgrounds are one of the most important outdoor environments for children. Playing benefits children’s brains by prospering and developing their communication skills. Playing enables kids to make use of their creativity while developing crucial cognitive abilities, imagination, and showcase their capabilities.
It is through playing that children can interact and engage with the world around them from a very young age. So, having a playground with additional playsets in your backyard is a great idea to give your children an enjoyable space where they can be themselves while developing their learning activities.
Having one of the best outdoor playsets is a great way to keep your kids active and busy while having fun. Fun and adventure are the main reasons why you are looking for a playset for your children. But first, there are certain matters we have to deliberate on.
Here are the things you should consider before putting up a playground in your backyard. All these factors will help you choose the right playset for your family.
Safety is always the priority. Choosing a safe playset is the most important aspect to look at. A playset that has been professionally developed, tested, and proven to be safe is great, but the comfort it imparts is indispensable. Look for a manufacturer that meets your standards and choose a well-known brand that prioritizes safety.
Another thing you must consider when looking for a playset is the materials that you like. There are three main materials to choose from: wood, metal, and vinyl. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of maintenance, cost, and durability.
- Wood – It is a common material for playsets and is considerably cheaper than vinyl. On the other hand, it requires maintenance to maintain its good condition. It is prone to rotting, so you need to seal or stain it over the years. For quality wood, pick treated cedar or redwood for they have insect repellent and rot-resistant properties.
- Vinyl – Vinyl playsets are usually the costliest but are also the best option because they require low maintenance. Vinyl playsets are more durable than wooden and metal playsets. They can last for years, but as they age, become prone to hazards.
- Metal – Metal playsets are generally the cheapest option. They require less maintenance than wood but require the use of a sealer every year to prevent rust.
- Backyard Space
You must measure your backyard to have an idea of what type of playsets is ideal for your area. The size and free space in your yard should indeed be considered when choosing the playsets. You have to make sure there is enough space for the children to roam around and engage in other activities after installing the playset.
The playing area requires a space away from other structures and overhead dangers, like wires or tree branches. If you can find a shady area in your backyard, that would be a great spot to install your playset, so your children will not be exposed to too much heat on sunny days. Make sure you have enough space for a safety zone and that the playset is located on a leveled surface.
Another thing to consider is the age appropriateness of your children when choosing playsets. Children’s motor skills and physique varies based on their age. It is important to suit the playsets to their characteristics for safety, not just for fun and adventure.
As you look into it, you will find out that playsets and children equipment are classified into three age categories: toddlers up to 2 years old, preschool kids aged 2 to 5 years old, and elementary kids aged 5 to 12 years old. Matching the age to the equipment is very helpful when buying playsets, but what if you have multiple age brackets of children?
Well, you can select more than one piece of equipment and generate a different playing area for each age bracket. Doing so may cost you more money, but it is better and safer to have separate playsets for young kids and older ones.
Types of Playground Equipment
There are two types of playsets, commercial and residential. Commercial playsets are ideal for public use, with a huge space provided, while residential playsets are best for families to enjoy in the vicinity of their backyards. There is much more new, modern, and more exciting playground equipment available nowadays.
With all the options, it is not difficult to find the best playground equipment for your space. Many companies offer various modern, traditional, and affordable playground equipment, with appropriate health and safety standards, as well as long-lasting, commercial-grade quality.
Here’s some playground equipment you might consider, as well as the benefits it might give to your children.
Swings are classic playground equipment. It is a popular piece of equipment that can hang from a tree with a rope or come as a structure allowing kids to be lifted into place. Swinging aid in developing motor skills, such as hand and arm coordination and grip strength. It also develops a child’s balance. The back and forth motion gives a kid a calming and soothing feeling, which is usually used in therapy settings.
A slide is among the traditional playground equipment. It is a good example of a simple machine known as the inclined plane that allows an object to move downward easily. It also promotes coordination and balance as children get to successfully position and push themselves down. It develops the child’s muscles, joints, and tendons.
A slide is usually flat, tubular, or half-cylindrical to prevent your child from falling. Slides are safe for kids if they are careful when using them. Wait for your child to reach the age of 2 before allowing them to try on their own.
- Monkey Bars
Monkey bars remain trendy playground equipment. It is a framework of horizontal and vertical bars on which the children can hang and swing. It is a great way for a kid to develop their visual hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills as they swing from one bar to another.
Swinging forward and backward with their legs tucked up aids children develop and improve the right posture, while also improving their body strength. Introduce monkey bars to your child when they are 3 or 5 years old.
- Balance Equipment
Balance equipment promotes a child’s physical capability. Balance beams of different heights are one way to improve these skills. Two ropes that are connected to two poles or trees, one rope tied just above a child for them to reach while the other one tied just off the ground, allows your child to hold in the upper rope while balancing on the lower one.
Equipment such as stepping stones with an adaptable height will test your child’s balance and awareness of their body position. Various pieces of outdoor balance equipment are designed to help promote children’s well-being and improve their motor skills.
- Climbing Equipment
Climbing equipment allows children to explore their imagination. It motivates them to have adventures while climbing in a safe environment. It helps with their physical development, motor skills, endurance, balance, flexibility, and increases their muscles’ strength. It also aids with the mental development of a child, including spatial awareness, memory, creativity, and critical-thinking abilities.
Rock climbing is a perfect example of a climbing activity. It strengthens your child’s legs, arms, and core. It also increases muscle tone as the kids pull up their body weight. Plus, it sharpens the visual perception as your child looks for an area where to place their hands and feet while climbing.
Climbing gives your child confidence in their capabilities to face challenges. Start introducing this activity to children aged 5 and older, because at this age, they start becoming independent and tend to follow instructions. Although, there are no definite physical requirements hindering a child from starting earlier.
Playing in the sand is an awesome chance for children to experience indefinite leisure. A sandpit or sandbox is a wide and low container filled with beach sand in which children can play. Sandbox offers a good time for kids to learn while having fun.
It is a perfect outdoor activity to develop a child’s sensory and creativity. Most children seem to play in the sand between 12 to 18 months old. Trucks, shovels, cars, sifters, and pails offer plenty of chances to enjoy playing in the sand. These objects give your child the opportunity to make shapes, build, and design anything out of sand.
Imaginative play, like making sandcastles, digging, scooping, shoveling, raking, and pouring, can offer them more fun and adventure. However, sandboxes could attract different kinds of bugs, such as mosquitoes, ticks, ants, spiders, fleas, and even parasitic worms. Always check and remove debris and cover the sandbox after use. And always wash your kid’s hands before and after playing.
Differences Between Commercial and Residential Playsets
As we already know, there are two types of playground equipment. Now, let’s discuss the difference between commercial and residential playsets. Residential and commercial playground equipment is similar in structure and style. Both can be made of metal, wood, or plastics. However, here is a quick overview of certain dissimilarities between these two types of playsets.
- Commercial Playsets
Commercial playsets are what you can see at daycare centers, schools, campgrounds, stadiums, and parks for community use. This type of playset provides a safe environment for many children to play and explore. It is usually made of sturdy metal posts, pressure-treated lumber, and heavy-duty vinyl with no worry of splinters.
These materials are used to withstand numerous kids and more aggressive and intense plays. Commercial playsets are strong and tough enough to carry continuous public use. They are built to last, require low maintenance, and are very resistant to rust and decay. Commercial playsets are normally huge and more complex than residential ones. They come in various designs, colors, and sizes that fit every space and can be customized.
- Residential Playsets
Meanwhile, residential playsets are suitable for children to enjoy from the comfort of their homes. They are designed to cater to a small number of kids. Although they are similar to what you find in commercial playsets, they differ in terms of the materials used, designs, and sizes as they consider the space provided in your backyard. Indeed, your backyard space may determine what type of playground equipment you need.
This is not to say that residential playsets are built with fewer safety standards. Essentially, you have to ensure the design is safe and limits potential accidents. The most popular choices for residential playsets include swings, slides, a seesaw, and climbing equipment.
With an extensive range of quality playsets and customized accessories, the options of residential playsets are boundless. Fabulous playsets can turn your backyard into a spot where imagination and creativity grow.
Playsets provide children with much-needed fun and adventure and keep them socially, physically, and emotionally engaged. Playground equipment may also divert their interest in online gaming and other gadgets that are dreadful and not advisable at a young age.
A child-friendly backyard is the perfect place to install a playset. It is a great gift to give your children. The size of your backyard and the age of your children are the primary factors to consider when looking for a backyard playset.
Although kids love to play outside, they unfortunately tend to get bored easily. Make sure this will not happen by providing them with a complete backyard playset that will offer them more interest and amusement. Investing in playsets benefits your kid’s early childhood development by increasing and improving their self-confidence, social skills, and enhancing their motor skills and overall well-being.