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Playground Equipment: Things to Know Before Buying

If you manage a playground, you want kids to have the best possible time while they’re there. So when you buy new equipment, you want to be sure about your purchase. Your new toys and structures should be nice to look at and use without going overboard on your budget. Here are some of the most important things to watch out for.

Equipment Should Be Safe

Unfortunately, playgrounds are a common place for kids to have little accidents. When you’re choosing new equipment, you want to be especially attentive to any potential safety concerns, such as sharp edges or heavy detachable items. Certain safety risks may not be particularly apparent, such as materials that become very slippery in rainy weather and metal exteriors that become burn hazards. The manufacturer’s website is a great place to get information on any potential safety concerns.

How Much to Spend

If you are buying on behalf of an institution or organization, chances are you have a fairly limited budget to work with. As a result, you may have to comparison shop for a while until you find the exact kinds of equipment you need while staying within your budget. It’s all about finding a balance between cost and other essential factors.

Look for Durable Materials

For first-time buyers of this sort of equipment, one of the most common mistakes is to pay too little attention to the materials that make up the products. Typically, playground purchases are expected to last for several years. This equipment will be subject to harsh treatment over the years, as well as being exposed to the elements (in the case of outdoor playgrounds).

All this means that you shouldn’t skimp on quality materials to save a few dollars. In the worst cases, new equipment might last less than one full season if it is not up to the task. Some vendors include good warranties on their products; this can be a good sign that they believe in their products.

Buy a Variety of Items

The last thing you want is for your kids to quickly lose interest in your new expensive playground. Take into account the range of ages and abilities in the children that will be using your play area. In the case of schools, children will be expected to use the same structures every single day during their lunch breaks and various recesses. There should be diversity in the games and toys available in the area, as well as in the visual appeal of the equipment and the playground as a whole. You also want to have some less restricted areas where kids can improvise different kinds of activities.

When you’re purchasing new equipment for your playground, it’s easy to get drowned in all the details. Keep some of the above points in mind, and your choices will be greatly simplified.
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