The Benefits of Playground Equipment

The Benefits of Playground Equipment

Playground equipment keeps kids active while developing their motor and sensory skills. But it’s not just about keeping kids healthy; it can also encourage socialization and teamwork, too.

There’s nothing like the little rush kids get as they zip down a slide. And there are a lot of ways to take this playground staple to the next level, from wavy slides to roller slides.


Playground swings offer children a chance to burn calories and strengthen their muscles. This type of exercise is important for building muscle tone and strength and preventing obesity. It also encourages outdoor activities and increases the production of vitamin D from sunlight, which is vital for healthy skin and bones.

In addition to strengthening their bodies, kids learn play equipment to balance while swinging. The movement of the swing activates the vestibular system, which along with visual cues, is critical to balancing. It also teaches them to coordinate their movements and teach them to move their legs and arms together. The ability to grip a swing chain also helps them develop fine motor skills, which can benefit their handwriting later in life.

The motion of a swing can also help to calm kids down. This is particularly useful in a playground that may be stressful for some kids or in a school setting, where it can help them to avoid meltdowns during high-stress situations.

Traditional swings are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes to accommodate kids of all ages and abilities. For example, toddlers can use baby swings, which are often shaped like buckets to reduce the likelihood of a child falling out. Group swings are also available, which can be a fun way for kids to work together or for adults and older children to enjoy the fun of swinging as a family.


Slides are perhaps the most well-known playground equipment. Children of all ages love to climb up and slide down, experiencing the exhilaration over and over again. Slides also help kids to gain confidence as they try out different structures and learn to overcome their fears. Whether they are climbing the side of a tunnel, a tube, or a short, straight slide, they all develop important motor skills as they navigate these play structures.

The effort of climbing to the top of a slide is also a great physical workout for kids, requiring them to use their arms and legs as they work up the rungs of the ladder. Additionally, the act of negotiating with other children who are already on the slide encourages social skills and the ability to take turns.

Today, slides are typically made from recreational plastics that are both durable and non-toxic. While metal slides were once a popular choice, new consumer safety standards have rendered them obsolete in public playgrounds. Recreational plastic offers a safer option that is less likely to heat up in the summer sun, which can prevent injuries.

Children can select from a wide variety of slide designs, including straight, tube, and winding tunnels. Some kids enjoy the mystery of covered tube slides, while others prefer the faster pace of shorter, straighter slides.

Spring Riders

A spring rider, also known as a bouncy rocker or spring toy, is a type of playground equipment that children use to bounce and move as they play. They are often designed to resemble vehicles, animals or other objects that spark kids’ imagination and creativity. Because kids must hold on to the spring rider, they develop core muscles while having fun and learning about movement.

With multiple spring riders to choose from, it’s easy for kids of all ages and abilities to find their favorite character or vehicle to ride on. From a single pony rider to multi-rider options, they can be surface-mounted or in-ground. They offer a ton of benefits for both kids and adults, including developing balance and coordination through rocking, encouraging arm strength, and teaching children about how energy moves around the world.

Children love hopping on the back of an animal spring rider to pretend they are soaring through the sky, galloping across a field, or racing down a hill. You can also encourage imaginative play by offering animal spring riders in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. There are even special designs for themed playgrounds, like a choo-choo train spring rider that offers kids the chance to grab on to the handlebar and “steer” their way around the track. Other spring riders, like a police car or bulldozer, let kids pretend to drive into battle or explore new planets from the comfort of their seat.

Sensory Play

As children play, they are able to make sense of the world around them through their visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and olfactory senses. They want to touch, taste, smell and see everything that is interesting or new to them, which supports their cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Sensory activities, like digging in sand or pouring water, allow kids to experiment with their environment and nurture their natural curiosity. Sensory play also enables kids to amusement park equipment manufacturers use their sensory experience to enhance their memory function, an essential part of learning and retaining new information.

Sensory play helps develop a child’s gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve larger muscle groups, such as those in the legs, arms and core. Sensory activities such as swinging, playing on a playground spinner or climbing structures help develop these abilities. Fine motor skills involve smaller muscles in the hands and fingers, such as those used to grasp objects and eat with. Sensory activities such as finger-painting, making goop and exploring textures help develop these capabilities.

A large benefit of sensory play is that it encourages a child’s creativity, as there is no right or wrong way to engage in this activity. For example, children may see the shape of their treehouse playset and imagine themselves blasting off into space or they might create a musical playground to express their inner musician.

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