Types of Playground Equipment

Types of Playground Equipment

Playground equipment fuels kids’ imagination, encouraging abstract thinking and storytelling skills. It also builds upper body strength by challenging children to climb up and down on structures before sliding down.

Choose equipment that will accommodate different age groups and abilities. Also consider your site’s weather. For instance, icy conditions require you to close your playground until the surfaces are safe.

Unitary Surfaces

Unitary playground surfacing includes materials such as poured-in-place rubber (PIP), rubber tiles, and synthetic turf. These surfaces are bound together, making them more durable and low-maintenance than loose-fill options. They also provide excellent shock absorption, and they come in a wide variety of colors to fit different themes or design aesthetics. They are also highly accessible for people using wheelchairs, and they often have longer warranties than loose-fill products.

Another popular unitary surfacing option is cork, which is made from naturally occurring and sustainable raw materials. It’s safe in the event of a fall, provides an enjoyable tactile experience, and has the added benefit of being environmentally friendly. However, it’s important to note that cork is not suitable for use with climbing structures.

Unitary surfacing can be more expensive than loose-fill materials, but it is usually more durable and offers better impact attenuation. It’s important to look at the actual Gmax and HIC test results for your surface material, and make sure you have the right certification papers to prove that it meets the minimum requirements for a playground. It’s also a good idea to educate and involve your play environment’s users in maintaining your surface. This way, they’re more likely to notice hazards or damage and report them to the maintenance crew. This will help keep minor injuries from turning into major ones.


Poured in Place rubber surfacing, also known as PIP, is one of the most popular playground surface technologies available. This material is poured in place for a seamless, accessible surface that eliminates trip hazards and excludes toxic substances such as chromated copper arsenate (CCA).

This system offers limitless design options. It can be tailored to the spatial layout of your park, playgrounds or other facilities and it Playground Equipment is ADA friendly. It can be colored in a variety of hues to create artistic patterns, include your company or school’s logo, or even be used for games like hopscotch and four square.

It can be made from recycled or virgin rubber EPDM or TPV granules that are held together with polyurethane binding agents. It is a cost-effective, safe option that meets or exceeds all impact testing requirements including the ADA (American Disabilities Act) standards for ground cover. It can be installed over a concrete, asphalt or compacted aggregate sub-base and can be modified to meet varying critical fall heights within the play environment.

The lower layer of a PIP system should childrens indoor play equipment suppliers be constructed of a hard, compact aggregate such as concrete, asphalt or crushed rock. This allows for proper binding, prevents water from pooling, helps the surfacing stay compliant and promotes drainage of the system during wet weather conditions.


Playground equipment needs to be strong and durable for outdoor use. It also must withstand harsh winters and heavy rainfall, which can wear on the equipment and the surfaces on which kids play. Durable materials and coatings are essential to ensure safety and longevity for the equipment. Regulatory organizations set safety standards for playground equipment and surfacing to prevent injuries and damage.

Plastic is a popular option for surface materials, and it can be textured to improve gripping for kids on handrails, rungs and other structures. You can also coat metal surfaces in the playground with Gator Grip, which helps kids hold on to slippery parts of equipment and prevents them from becoming slick during dew or rainy weather. Adding this coating is one of the easiest ways to help reduce accidents on playgrounds. You can also post signs reminding parents to dry off equipment before letting kids play, and provide a way for parents to report problems with equipment or surfaces.

Rubber mulch is a great playground surface that’s both economical and environmentally responsible. This shredded rubber comes from the more than 290 million tires that are discarded each year, and special machinery turns them into a mulch that looks like wood but feels softer and more bouncy under feet.

Another type of playground equipment that’s a staple in many parks is the seesaw or teeter-totter. These balance beams require a partner, and they encourage cooperative play while improving children’s core strength and coordination. You can choose from a variety of fun designs, including those shaped like animals and vehicles.


Plastic is a versatile material that can be used for playground equipment in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is also a durable option that can be made to withstand weather conditions. Some plastics can also be made to resist mildew and mold, making them a more practical choice for playgrounds. Plastics can also be coated with a slip-resistant coating to prevent injuries. Some common types of plastic that are used in playgrounds include duroplastic, polyamides and acryl glass.

Many manufacturers use recycled plastic to make their playground equipment, which reduces the amount of new materials that are needed. This also cuts down on the amount of waste that is sent to landfills and helps the environment by reducing the demand for fossil fuels. Recycled plastic also saves trees by eliminating the need for wood, and it can even be molded into different shapes for play equipment.

The plastics that are used for playground equipment are often recycled from milk jugs, water bottles and other containers. They are also known to have excellent fall protection, making them a great choice for outdoor playgrounds. Plastics are also easy to clean and are highly resistant to mildew. They are often UV stabilized, which makes them more stable and long-lasting than other types of materials.

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