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Playground Equipment NI & Ireland: All You Need to Know

We speak to a lot of schools about equipment for their playgrounds so we thought that it might be helpful to prepare this short guide answering the main questions.

There are many different types of equipment available, ranging from swings and slides to climbing structures and interactive play panels. Soft surfaces such as engineered wood fiber or rubber mulch are often used to cushion falls and reduce the risk of injury.

 

To speak to an expert please phone our helpful staff on -

01 960 1641 - Ireland

028 3756 8930 - Northern Ireland and UK.

What is the most popular playground equipment?

The most popular playground equipment varies depending on factors such as age range of children, location, and cultural preferences. However, some of the most common playground equipment found in many playgrounds around the world include:
  1. Swings: Swings are a classic playground staple loved by children of all ages. They come in different styles such as bucket swings for young children and regular swings for older kids.

  2. Slides: Slides are another popular playground equipment loved by children. They come in different heights and lengths, providing a fun and thrilling experience for children.

  3. Climbing structures: Climbing structures such as jungle gyms and climbing walls provide a fun challenge for children to climb, swing, and hang on.

  4. Monkey bars: Monkey bars are a classic playground equipment loved by children who enjoy swinging and hanging.

  5. See-saws: See-saws provide a fun and interactive way for children to play together.

Overall, the popularity of playground equipment depends on a variety of factors, but these are some of the most common equipment found in playgrounds.

What types of surfaces are best for an outdoor playground?

When it comes to outdoor playground surfaces, safety is a top priority. The surface should be able to absorb shock, prevent injuries, and provide a non-slip surface to reduce the risk of falls. Here are some of the most popular surfaces used in outdoor playgrounds:
  1. Engineered Wood Fiber (EWF): EWF is made from wood chips and is a popular choice for playground surfaces. It provides a soft, shock-absorbing surface that is ADA-compliant, and it is also affordable and easy to maintain.

  2. Rubber Mulch: Rubber mulch is made from recycled rubber tires and is an eco-friendly option that is long-lasting, slip-resistant, and provides excellent shock absorption.

  3. Poured-in-Place (PIP): PIP is a rubber surface that is installed by pouring a mixture of rubber granules and a binding agent onto the playground surface. It provides excellent shock absorption, is non-slip, and can be customized with different colors and designs.

  4. Artificial Turf: Artificial turf is a popular option for playgrounds as it is durable, easy to maintain, and provides a soft surface that is non-slip and shock-absorbing.

  5. Concrete: Concrete is a durable and long-lasting option that provides a firm, non-slip surface. However, it is not as shock-absorbing as other options and can cause injuries if a child falls.

Ultimately, the best surface for an outdoor playground will depend on factors such as the age of the children, the size of the playground, and the budget. It's important to choose a surface that is safe, easy to maintain, and provides the best experience for the children.

 

What is stationary playground equipment?

Stationary playground equipment refers to playground equipment that is fixed in place and does not have any moving parts. Unlike dynamic or mobile playground equipment, stationary equipment is designed to be used in a specific location and cannot be easily moved or relocated. Examples of stationary playground equipment include:
  1. Climbing structures: Climbing structures are designed to be climbed on, but they are fixed in place and do not move. They may include features such as ladders, ropes, and bridges to provide a challenging and engaging play experience.

  2. Balance beams: Balance beams are narrow beams that are designed to test a child's balance and coordination. They may be made of wood, metal, or plastic and are typically installed in a fixed location.

  3. Benches and picnic tables: Benches and picnic tables provide a place for children and adults to sit and rest. They may be fixed in place and may be made of wood, metal, or plastic.

  4. Overhead equipment: Overhead equipment such as monkey bars and overhead ladders are designed to be climbed on and swung from, but they are fixed in place and do not move.

Overall, stationary playground equipment provides a safe and stable play experience for children, and it is often used in combination with dynamic and mobile equipment to create a well-rounded playground experience.

 

How do we choose playground equipment?

Choosing the right playground equipment for your specific needs can be a challenging task. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting playground equipment:

  1. Age range: Consider the age range of the children who will be using the equipment. Younger children may require equipment that is low to the ground and has age-appropriate features, such as smaller steps and slides. Older children may need more challenging equipment, such as climbing structures and swings with longer chains.

  2. Safety: Safety should always be a top priority when selecting playground equipment. Look for equipment that meets safety standards and has features such as soft, shock-absorbing surfaces, secure footing, and properly spaced openings to prevent entrapment.

  3. Durability: Choose equipment that is durable and designed to withstand the elements and heavy use. Look for materials such as metal or heavy-duty plastic that can withstand wear and tear over time.

  4. Accessibility: Consider the needs of children with disabilities or special needs when selecting equipment. Look for equipment that is ADA-compliant and includes features such as ramps and wider openings.

  5. Budget: Playground equipment can vary greatly in price, so consider your budget when making your selection. Look for equipment that provides the most value for your investment and consider the long-term costs of maintenance and upkeep.

  6. Space: Consider the available space for the playground and choose equipment that fits within the designated area. Be sure to allow for adequate spacing between equipment to prevent overcrowding and collisions.

By considering these factors and working with a reputable playground equipment supplier or manufacturer, you can choose equipment that is safe, durable, and provides a fun and engaging play experience for children.

 

What is the safest playground equipment?

Playground equipment safety is a top priority, and there is no single type of equipment that is universally the safest. However, there are several features and design elements that can make playground equipment safer. Here are some of the safest playground equipment features to look for:
  1. Soft, shock-absorbing surfaces: Look for equipment with soft surfaces such as engineered wood fiber, rubber mulch, or poured-in-place rubber. These surfaces are designed to absorb shock and reduce the risk of injury if a child falls.

  2. Proper spacing and clearance: Choose equipment with properly spaced openings and barriers to prevent entrapment or collisions. Clearance under equipment should be at least 6 feet to prevent falls.

  3. Rounded edges and smooth surfaces: Look for equipment with rounded edges and smooth surfaces to reduce the risk of cuts and scrapes.

  4. Handrails and guardrails: Equipment should have handrails and guardrails to help children maintain balance and prevent falls.

  5. ADA-compliant features: Choose equipment that is designed to be accessible to children with disabilities, including features such as ramps and wider openings.

  6. Sturdy construction: Look for equipment that is made of sturdy materials such as metal or heavy-duty plastic and is designed to withstand wear and tear over time.

Ultimately, the safest playground equipment is well-maintained, regularly inspected, and used in accordance with safety guidelines and manufacturer instructions. Adult supervision is also critical to ensuring that children are using the equipment safely and responsibly.

 

How much will a school playground in ireland typically cost?

The cost of a school playground in Ireland can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the playground, the type of equipment, and the materials used. Generally speaking, the cost of a school playground can range from a few thousand euros to tens of thousands of euros.

 

According to some estimates, the cost of installing a basic playground for a primary school in Ireland can range from €5,000 to €10,000. This may include equipment such as swings, slides, and climbing structures, as well as safety features such as soft surfaces and proper fencing.

However, if the playground is larger or includes more complex equipment, the cost can increase significantly. For example, a larger secondary school may require a more extensive playground with additional features such as basketball courts, running tracks, and outdoor fitness equipment. This could cost anywhere from €20,000 to €50,000 or more.

It's important to note that the cost of a school playground will depend on a variety of factors and can vary widely. It's recommended that schools work with a reputable playground equipment supplier or manufacturer to get a detailed quote based on their specific needs and budget.

 

Do school playgrounds require a lot of looking after and maintenance?

Yes, school playgrounds require regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure they remain safe and enjoyable for children to use. Here are some of the maintenance tasks that may be required for a school playground:

  1. Regular inspections: School playgrounds should be inspected regularly to identify any issues that need to be addressed. Inspections can include checking equipment for wear and tear, ensuring that surfaces are properly cushioned, and ensuring that all safety features are in place.

  2. Cleaning: School playgrounds should be cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt, debris, and other materials that could pose a safety hazard. This may involve sweeping, power washing, or other cleaning methods.

  3. Repairs: If any equipment is damaged or broken, it should be repaired or replaced promptly to prevent injuries. This may involve fixing broken swings or replacing worn-out surfaces.

  4. Seasonal maintenance: Depending on the climate and weather conditions in the area, additional maintenance may be required during certain times of the year. For example, playground equipment may need to be winterized or protected from extreme heat during the summer months.

  5. Pest control: School playgrounds can attract pests such as rodents and insects, which can pose a health hazard. Pest control measures may be needed to keep the playground clean and safe for children to use.

Overall, maintaining a school playground can be a significant responsibility, but it's essential to ensure that the playground is safe and enjoyable for children to use. By implementing a regular maintenance plan and working with a reputable playground equipment supplier or manufacturer, schools can ensure that their playgrounds remain in good condition for years to come.

Last Word

To speak to an expert please phone our helpful staff on the numbers below -

01 960 1641 - Ireland

028 3756 8930 - Northern Ireland & UK.

Thank you for reading.