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Commercial and Home Playground Equipment Buyers Guide

by Shirley Peters
August 2008


These are the top 10 things to look for when buying home or commercial playground equipment:

1. SPACE
Consider the space you have available. It's no use having fabulous playground equipment if your children bang into a wall every time they swing.

2. SAFETY
Think about the age and mobility of your children, how much play they can have safely without the need for an adult standing at the bottom or a safety net?

3.ENJOYMENT
What do your kids enjoy playing on most, are they climbers? swingers? sliders? or all of these? Make sure your kids won't get bored with it.

4. FLEXIBILITY
Consider other possibilities for the equipment, is there a platform which could be turned into a pirate ship? Are the swings interchangeable for larger ones as your kids get bigger and more adventurous. Is there enough for the equipment to grow with your children?

5. PRICE
Don't buy cheap home or commercial playground equipment, it will not stand the test of time or over enthusiastic children! Shop around and compare prices, the end of summer is a good time to buy, many retailers reduce prices.

6. WHICH MATERIAL? WOOD:
Wood is obviously more natural, it is strong and durable and will look good for many years. However the downside to wood is it can cause splinters and can look a bit dull.

7. WHICH MATERIAL? METAL:
Metal frames are very strong but may rust over time as this will certainly ruin the look of the playground equipment and clothes! Metal frames can also become very cold in the winter and extremely hot in the sun.

8. WHICH MATERIAL? PLASTIC:
Plastic commercial playground equipment will brighten up any outdoor space, it is colourful and interesting and can be molded into interesting shapes. It is strong and durable and will last for many years. It is easier to keep clean after a damp, cold winter.

9. CONSTRUCTION:
Consider how many people it will take to put it all together, what tools are required and how complicated the instructions look. These are very important factors as you may find your patience slipping away as you struggle to assemble the equipment.

10.VALUE FOR MONEY:
Will this playground equipment enrich children's lives at a price which seems reasonable to you? Will it allow your children to play in a variety of different ways? Will they be physically challenged enough so it does not become boring? Does it enhance your outdoor space or will it look ugly and leave no room for the barbecue? But above all, will the adults be able to play on it safely once the kids are in bed?!

 

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