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5 Popular Steel Playground Equipment Products

October 3, 2018

When putting together a new playground or updating an existing one, choosing the equipment can be a difficult task. There is a lot to consider, from the popularity of the apparatus to the material it’s made from, and everything in between.

Each choice has various benefits, but in terms of material, steel represents an excellent option for a number of reasons.

Why choose Steel?

Steel playground equipment has been a popular choice for decades, with many parks and commercial enterprises drawn to this material as it represents good value-for-money, particularly over a long period of time.

Metal outdoor playground equipment is made from high-grade steel, which is covered in a special coating to prevent rust. This makes steel equipment highly durable to adverse weather conditions, which is a must in the UK!

In addition to durability, steel is also highly flexible in terms of design and purpose. Steel equipment can be painted and repainted in various colours, making it easy to maintain and change if you are updating your playground.

Benefits of Steel versus other materials

Steel playground equipment is often wrongly assumed to be more dangerous than other materials, but when installed and maintained properly, this simply isn’t the case. Steel is as safe as its plastic or wood counterparts - but how else does it fare against other materials?

Wood

Wood is an old favourite for both commercial use and at home, as it is easy to install, safe and clean for kids, and is aesthetically pleasing, complimenting the natural environment around it. While wood as a material is less durable than steel, if well-looked after and maintained, wooden playground equipment will last for many years.

Another major benefit of wood is that it does not get as hot as steel or plastic does during the summer, although most steel surfaces are now manufactured with a heat-coating, which helps to reduce heat build-up on particularly warm days.

Plastic

Although it doesn’t look as good as wood or steel, plastic is a viable commercial rival as it is generally easy to maintain and provides good value for money. While it does carry similar heat concerns to steel, plastic is available at a lower cost than metal playground equipment, giving it a distinct advantage.

The main drawback of plastic, however, is its durability. While it has excellent longevity, plastic is easier to damage than steel, making it more susceptible to vandalism.

For durability, longevity, and quality - steel is definitely a sound investment for any commercial playground.

Choosing the right equipment

Thanks to the above benefits, there is plenty of steel playground equipment available. Choosing what products you want depends on the design of your playground, and the type of activities you are hoping to engage kids with. Here are five popular choices for steel playground equipment:

1. See-saws

See-saws are a playground classic that many of us will have fond memories of, and their enduring success goes beyond their simplicity, with the see-saw an excellent tool for children’s development in a number of ways.

Firstly, the rocking experience of a see-saw help young children to develop their sense of balance and coordination. In addition to these physical benefits, see-saws require cooperation and social interaction, allowing kids to learn and develop these essential life skills at an early age.

2. Slides

Slides are an old favourite and continue to be popular amongst children of all ages. There are various types of slide available, from your classic freestanding slide to more adventurous spiral, wavy, or tunnel designs.

As with see-saws, slides also carry many benefits for kids beyond fun. The act of climbing and positioning themselves on a slide is a great way to develop spatial awareness for kids, while learning timing is also crucial upon landing.

Climbing is great cardiovascular exercise too, while playing on a slide with others is an effective way to develop social skills like patience, taking turns, and being tolerant of others’ physical abilities.

3. Musical instruments

A slightly more unusual choice than the usual playground equipment, outdoor musical instruments are a fun way to add a bit of variety to children’s playtime.

There are plenty of different musical instruments to choose from (that adults can enjoy too) ranging from smaller babel drums for individual use, to big emperor chimes and tembos, which encourage groups to play together.

Including musical instruments alongside other steel playground equipment is an excellent way to diversify the experience for kids, by including different forms of engagement in their play. Musical instruments encourage kids to explore their creative side, learn about tone and sound, and perhaps annoy the odd tired parent with loud noises too...

4. Roundabouts

Roundabouts are another much-loved piece of playground equipment, and there are now plenty of variations to choose from, such as bowl and teacup shaped spinners, twirling balance boards, and pole-like twisters.

As a predominantly group apparatus, roundabouts actively encourage teamwork and social skills, as kids work together to create a fun experience.

The varied types of roundabouts all provide highly physical exercise as well, with kids needing to hang, run, jump and balance themselves, with the roundabout such a popular choice due to this physical variety.

5. Multiplay equipment

While there is plenty of classic playground equipment that could have been included on this list, such as spring mobiles and swings, multiplay equipment provides a fitting end due to the sheer versatility and range of experiences this apparatus provides to children.

Multiplay units are always extremely popular in playgrounds because they excite the imagination, allowing children to combine physical exercise with creative play. As these pieces of equipment support large groups, children also have to learn to be patient and respectful of others, providing valuable social skills too.

There are plenty of benefits to using steel playground equipment, which will both entertain and help develop children of all ages. In addition Wicksteed offer a 25 year guarantee on all steel equipment, ensuring that your play area can be enjoyed for many years to come. Discover the equipment for your perfect playground here.

Written by: Ajay Sandhu
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