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The Ultimate Guide To Outdoor Play Equipment

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Types Of Outdoor Play Equipment?

Many people think that outdoor play equipment is just a playground. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Outdoor play equipment is used in many different settings, such as schools, residential areas, and parks. There are many types of equipment available for purchase too. In this guide, we will explore some of the most popular outdoor play equipment out there today and how to choose the right one for your needs!

Below we outline the different types of playground equipment:

Wooden Outdoor Play equipment

There are many different types of Wooden Outdoor Play equipment that can be used in schools and various other settings. These range from Wooden play towers consisting mainly of a wooden frame with accessories such as slides, balance walkways and climbing frames to Trim Trails and stand-alone wooden constructed play equipment such as mud kitchens, tunnels and timber huts as well as wooden swings. Wooden play equipment is a great choice for a playground as it’s long-lasting and very durable and often comes with up to a 20-year guarantee.

Metal Play Equipment

An alternative to Wooden playground equipment is metal build equipment. This type of Metal Play equipment is often used for play equipment such as metal gym equipment, Multi-Use Games equipment (MUGA’s) and Target Panels. Metal is often used where the items being built either need to be functional as in movement or will be taking much more direct punishment, such as being hit continuously with a football for example.

The type of playground you are designing will lend itself more heavily to either a wooden or metal set-up or even a combination of both if you are working on a larger playground project. Either way, it’s better to speak to an expert who can guide you on the best play equipment to accommodate your desired outcome.

Metal Play Equipment

Outdoor Sports Equipment

These are usually products such as Sports Markings, Multi-Use Games Areas (MUGA’s), Ancillary Sports Products, Outdoor Metal Gym Equipment, Goal Ends & Sports Walls as well as Sports Target Panels.

Outdoor Sports Equipment

Imaginative Play

Imaginative play equipment helps to facilitate the child’s imagination. Usually designed as recognisable structures such as Boats, Vehicles and Dens & Playhouses. They provide a bridge between the real world and playtime. These types of products are usually very creatively designed and have bright colour schemes to stand out as a signature piece of equipment.

Trim Trails

Trim Trails come in all different shapes and sizes, built and designed around the space it is to be installed in. They are usually built from individual trim trail items, joined together to build an adventure or trim trail and can meet a range of budgets. The flexibility of this equipment makes it a popular favourite amongst schools and holiday park settings.

Trim Trails

Play Towers

These tend to be the talking point of any playground. The Play Tower is usually the main playground feature with optional multiple towers, climbing frames, swing sets, and accessories designed to create an exciting environment for children. These do require planning in regards to where this type of equipment would fit and installation due to the complex nature of the build of the towers, but worth every penny.

Climbing And Activity

Quintessentially climbing frames and climbing apparatus, the climbing and activity range of products promotes more active, energetic engagement by children. These can range from simple climbing structures to elaborate climbing frames with balance beams and ropes to aid physical exercise.

Sensory Play

Sensory Playground Equipment is a relatively new concept in children education focusing more on the tactile and sensory experience for the child. Although historically used in more Early Years settings, these experience lead products help children to understand the nature of textures and sounds, as well as providing some of the best fun there is to be had.

Sensory Play

Playground Markings And Games

Although not conventional playground equipment, it is worth mentioning Playground markings and Games, as these do still provide exercise and the ability to socially interact with each other. These are offered with an installation service and come in a huge range of shapes and designs.

Playground Markings And Games

Swings And Seesaws

Swings and seesaws are some of the most well-known apparatus to be found in any playground. Still enjoyed by millions of children around the world these, in particular, are a piece of equipment every playground should have.

Swings And Seesaws

Spinning and Sliding

Alongside the popular swings and seesaws are the Slides and Carousels and all things that spin. All children love movement, usually the faster the better and this is where these types of products come into their own, giving not only a sense of freedom and making children smile from ear to ear.

Spinning and Sliding

Freestanding Play Equipment

Freestanding equipment is items such as the conventional Mud Kitchen, Sandpits, role play stands, pretty much anything that does need professional installation. These are usually the option when the budget is a little lower or used as a complement to an existing playground area.

Freestanding Play Equipment

Outdoor Play Equipment Summary:

So as you can see there is a wide array of equipment that can form the basis of small and large playgrounds in any setting. As mentioned earlier it’s our advice you seek expert guidance before endeavouring on a project as, as well as the equipment itself there are also more things to consider, which we discuss below.

What Should A Playground Contain?

Children should be able to explore their surroundings, play with friends and learn about the world. A playground is one place that can provide all of these things. It’s important for a School, Council or Commercial Setting such as a Holiday park, to have a safe and fun environment for children to enjoy. There are many factors that go into what makes up an ideal playground, but there are five main components: safety equipment like protective surfaces or fences; plenty of space for children to play; interesting activities like slides, swings or climbing structures; shade; and multiple age groups represented among the pieces used.

Schools or Commercial settings today need outdoor areas that promote higher levels of physical activity. In particular, the increasing number of obese children in the UK, means that playgrounds have to provide a variety of activities and equipment aimed at promoting healthy development in children. This doesn’t just refer to the use of outdoor play equipment either! Outdoor surfaces should be safe for running around or playing games while still being easy on the feet.

Outdoor Play Equipment Conclusion:

The equipment itself is only part of what makes up a successful playground or outdoor area, but it’s also essential to consider safety and space as well as providing engaging activities for different age groups. By thinking carefully about these elements you can create an ideal environment that boosts physical activity while keeping children.

How Much Does A New Playground Cost?

How much does a playground cost, well in all honesty this is relative to the space you have and project in mind? The price can range from a single piece of equipment from £300 – £500 to a full-scale installation which could cost anywhere up to £250k and beyond depending on the playground items and infrastructure you are looking to build. We would love to give you an easy answer but the truth is until you speak to us it’s extremely difficult for us to assess costs. If you are reading this and are starting work on a project please feel free to give us a call on 01244 375 627 or email [email protected] and we can guide you accordingly with no obligation.

What Is The Most Common Playground Equipment In The UK?

A school playground is an important resource for children to use their creativity and social skills. A good playground will have a variety of equipment that can be used in a number of ways, such as Trim Trails, Slides, Swings, Sandboxes, Climbing structures, Accessories and more. The most common type of play structure found on a school’s playground is the Trim Trail. The Trim Trail is a very flexible piece of equipment due to its modular composition, so fits well in most play spaces. It also offers a mixture of experiences for the children including balancing, swinging and climbing. It’s this flexibility that sees these as a popular choice with installations appearing in school playgrounds up and down the country.

What is Inclusive Playground Equipment?

Playgrounds are a place of learning and socialising for children, but they can also be difficult to navigate. There are many obstacles that may put some children at risk of not being able to play on the playground because it is unsafe or inaccessible. One way to help with this issue is by incorporating inclusive equipment into the design process of new playgrounds and redesigning old ones. Inclusive equipment means ensuring that all abilities can use the equipment without modification, which will allow everyone to enjoy playing outside together!

Inclusive Playground Equipment: What You Need To Know

The physical features of the playground are only one part of creating an inclusive environment for children. The other crucial component is to incorporate disability awareness training into your school team members or people caring for the children so that they can understand how best to interact with all children and what modifications may be needed for some equipment. However, even if you have fully trained staff who know about different disabilities, you still need to have the right equipment at your setting in order for this training to be effective.

Inclusive Playground Equipment: What You Need To Know

What is Inclusive Playground Equipment?

Inclusive playgrounds are accessible and safe, allowing anyone who wants to play on them to do so without having any limitations or boundaries. These types of outdoor spaces include a variety of activities that can be enjoyed by all children and students, regardless of their abilities. Inclusive play spaces make it easy for everyone to get involved in the playground activities and games that they want to be a part of.

What Is Sensory Play Equipment?

Sensory play equipment is a great way to engage children in learning. Some examples of sensory play equipment include water tables, drums, sandboxes, and blocks. These items help with cognitive development as well as physical development for young children. They also promote socialisation amongst children because they can all be played with, together or separately depending on the individual needs of each child. This type of activity is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about colours and shapes, sounds and textures while playing!

Steps To Buying Playground Equipment?

The decision to purchase playground equipment can be very difficult. There are many factors that need to be considered, and the process of finding the best quality without breaking your budget is a challenge. This area of the guide will try to help you find all the information you need in order to make this important decision.

The first step should always involve considering what type of play equipment your kids want and if they have any special needs such as those with disabilities or other physical limitations. It’s also vital that you take into consideration safety as well as maintenance costs for both children and adults because it will determine how much time and money is needed on a daily basis.

As discussed, there are of course lots of different types of play equipment on offer including swings, slides, climbers, play towers, trim trails and much more so things can get complex. Below lists out the steps, you should consider as well as the process for us to build and install your playground equipment.

  • Step 1: Consider your budget and the area you have available.
  • Step 2: Who will primarily be using the equipment
  • Step 3: Contact Creative play to discuss the options based on your budget.
  • Step 4: We provide clear advice and guidance so we can start the design process together.
  • Step 5: Once we know roughly the equipment you require we will create a visual design for you to review.
  • Step 6: If you are happy with our designs post the consultation either on-site or over the telephone, we will send out a surveyor to review the area for installation and to ensure all safety and building considerations are taken into account.
  • Step 7: We go into production and manufacture your playground ready for installation.
  • Step 8: We have all equipment delivered and our expert’s playground builders get to work.
  • Step 9: The big unveiling, after your new playground is built it would be wrong not to celebrate with the children and let them have the first taste of climbing that tower.
  • Step 10: Become the envy of the schools and settings around you with your new playground as you sit back and watch children be happy and smile as they swing, slide and climb.

Discuss Your Playground Project


UK Government Legislation In Regards to Playground Equipment

There is various legislation and laws covering the installation of playground equipment, its safety and requirements. These are most notably outlined on the ROSPA website, who cover all aspects of safety and compliance.

At Creative play, we are a seasoned member of ROSPA and ensure all of our play equipment meets the standards required by law both in the manufacture of but also the installation of your playgrounds.

What Funding Can I Get For Playground Equipment?

The promotion running at the moment is the PE & Sports Premium Grant which helps promote physical activity and sports in schools and educational settings.

The government have set a budget that has been allocated to educational settings in order to make additional and sustainable improvements. This includes making sure all children attending school are given access to or facilities they need for their own PE class, sports teams/leagues etc., which means there’s no excuse not to get active!

We can advise you on what exactly this new funding can be used for and what it will help with. We do provide a funding pack that contains all the information you need. Please email us at [email protected] for details.

How Do I Enquire About A New Playground?

There are a couple of different ways to contact us to discuss your next playground project, you can either go to our contact page and submit your details , email us directly at [email protected] or alternatively give us a call on 01244 375 627 and one of our experts will be there waiting to help you.