Playground equipment

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by PreTeacher, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. PreTeacher

    PreTeacher Rookie

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    Apr 28, 2008

    Hi,

    What playground equipment do you find the children make the most use of?
    We are trying to finalize the plans for our outdoors, and equipment is so expensive...

    Thanks in advance for your input
     
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  3. MimiBee

    MimiBee Companion

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    Apr 28, 2008

    Swings and combination jungle gym/slide.
     
  4. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Apr 28, 2008

    The slides.
     
  5. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    . . . and they really like to be under things, such as our climbing structure.
     
  6. MimiBee

    MimiBee Companion

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    Apr 29, 2008

    Yes, ours as well.
     
  7. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Apr 29, 2008

    I like the multiple level plastic things they can climb all over and the bigger the better but I have an old merry go round and they LOVE it.
     
  8. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    the big issue with equipment is the ground underneath... sand, grass or wood chips? or worse...those ground up tires!

    It's kind of hard to destroy a structure, but what causes the most accidents and injuries is a slip and fall or lost of balance because of running. Sand must be swept and hosed down when it is hot, and grass must be cut, and is very slippery.

    woodchips seem to be the best choice. but don't let an inspector come out and find plants growing in them...

    bikes get to be a hassle because in most places, you need helmets, and you should have at least 10 if you have 20 kids. and they have to take turns, and you know how that goes. you need one adult just to monitor the bikes! you have to play traffic cop, go one direction! stay off the grass! etc.

    all equipment must be completely waterproof, rust proof, and no lead paint, as they will be tempted to taste paint that should not chip.

    swings are iffy. you need one adult by them at all times. kids tend to fall out of them quite a bit. I don't care for them, personally..in preschool that is.

    usually, you need a shed for storing outdoor equipment. some wonderful person needs to be in charge of this junky garage. that same person should go thru once a month and toss broken, torn items. i.e. balls, ropes, etc.

    sand box is a biggie you need tarp to cover it up. last person out must do this every day. should only use specialized sand. in CA, I saw lots of bees, sand bees...who knew? who liked to hang out in the sand. wasps like to nest near sandbox too, look out for their nests inside the shelters covering sand boxes.

    I don't think you need a person guarding sand box, but these days...it couldn't hurt

    people say indoor stuff could be outdoor stuff, that is paint, markers, chalk. I say it is a lot to keep up with. Also, more germs floating around outside. So I bring in whatever I take out.
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    A large water table with a good drain system is great for outside if you are in a warm state. Teachers use them more because there is really no clean up and the kids get all the benefits from exploring water. Tire swings are a good alternative to regular swings for little kids. I think the kids make the most use out of having a space to run around and make up their own games in :)
     
  10. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    tire swings bother me too. I think they are soo big and heavy, the little 3s always get knocked down. some big 4s and 5s stand right there, and don't get the concept of inertia! they push it, and don't realize it will come right back when they turn around! :unsure: the stronger kids will get on, like a merry go round, and the slower ones, stand there..hoping to jump in. once the other kids let them on, their faces are so funny, and sad..because they have NO idea what they got themselves into!
     
  11. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    be lucky that you get to have playground equipment!! our school district took down all the playground equipment years ago except for our early childhood schools. i am guessing its due to liability.

    i do know that our EC schools have tricycles. i think that would be fun. i don't know if they had to use helmets. i am assuming no.

    stuff to climb on i think is important. i have a couple of 4 year olds who are strong enough to do pull ups on my bar at school without help but we don't have playground equipment that could help them to continue developing their strength.
     
  12. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Apr 29, 2008

    we have our tricycles for inside--We have a fairly large indoor play space--and we do have helmets. We also have some of those sit-in cars that the kids propel with their feet on the floor. Both are popular. Oh, and some tractors that are like trikes.
     
  13. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Apr 29, 2008

    I agree. I have very young children (under 3), and they make the most use of the open space. I'm glad I have a small climber and a sandbox, too. They really use props the most, though... shovels, buckets, boxes, etc.
     
  14. hawkeye

    hawkeye Companion

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    Our kids like to be under things and climb and the slides- swings are not allowed in texas
     
  15. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    We don't use helmets for our tricycles, but they are the PRIZED play equipment outside for many of the kids. We have 2 that are 2-seater "bus bikes" and, although we're still working on the "anybody can come ride with you, if you don't want to share, don't get one of those" issue, they love them.

    Last summer, we got a bunch of hoops (like hoola hoops but flatter, if that makes sense) in various sizes to use for obstacle courses (not practical for that, though)... we also got frisbees and jump ropes and balls. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE jump ropes for 3's and 4's... in fact, we don't allow our kids to use them. They're put up out of the way, because all they want to do is tie people or things up in them. The school-age kids use them as jump ropes, which I think is great... but not when my kids are out there!

    Most of our frisbees and several of our hoops have ended up on the roof... they're still there. Because apparently people who are WORKING on the roof don't think about walking the extra 3 feet to toss them down.

    We have an adjustable basketball hoop that the kids really enjoy using... or using the balls to play soccer and the like. They also love chalk (messy, but they love it) and bubbles. We have an outdoor sand table that we open when it's not really windy, and not cold enough to need gloves, coats, and the like.

    But one of my favorite warm-weather activities on the playground is giving the kids buckets of water and a variety of paintbrushes, and letting them "paint" the wooden fence or side of the building. Good, clean fun :)
     
  16. PreTeacher

    PreTeacher Rookie

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    Apr 30, 2008

    Thanks everyone - great information.

    2 more questions:

    1) We have a small outdoors - should we get a small sandbox or rather do a sand table?

    2) we are going to have bikes and a garden center outside as well as standard equipment (balls, hoops, bubbles etc.) but we are stuck right now on the active/play structure.

    We have a the thick black rubber matting on the floor now (not removable) and I would really like to have equipment that the children can grow with and get more skilled at (as some of you mentioned above).

    I am in CA - is there an issue with having a wooden playground structure?

    How high is too high for the equipment? Is there a guideline for that.

    These are 2 things we were thinking about but I would LOVE feedback from you guys

    This playset(http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11257173&whse=BC&topnav=&browse=&lang=en-US) without installing the whole swing section - just for the house/climbing equipment and slide. Is this too high? What are some cons (pros?)

    This looks like it may cover the climbing skills (http://www.domeclimber.com/) Do you think the children would make use of it?

    Again - we are limited in space, and will have smaller little tikes slides for the youngest class to play on but the 3's and 4's need something..

    THANKS!!
     
  17. hawkeye

    hawkeye Companion

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  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Pre-teacher, if you can stay away from wood structures please do so. They cause splinters later as they age. Also that has an enclosed housing area. You won't be able to supervise it well enough.

    I love the one hawkeye has.

    I abhore merry go rounds. Kids never practice the safety rules on them. I don't mind the tire swing but they need holes drilled into the bottom part to drain water. Our kids are fine with swings as well. They need a soft landing.

    Climbing is good.
     
  19. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    I partly agree with you on the jump rope. I have let my Pre-K use jump ropes but its under a controlled situation because they will swing them around or tie them to things. BUT, I have some kids who are unbelievably awesome at jump rope too. In fact, I have video of three of my four year olds doing "criss-crosses" with a rope. That is just crazy, but they can do it! I also taught a kindergarten girl how to do a criss-cross in 5 minutes and I have first graders who can jump double dutch and did a demo at my PTA program this year. Jump rope is really big at my school and I encourage it because it's great exercise.

    If young students are going to do jump ropes its easier for them to learn on a beaded jump rope because its heavier, makes a loud noise so the kid knows when to jump, and the kids can't "whip" themselves accidentally which happens with licorice speed ropes often. It honestly depends on the child. Some get it and some don't.

    As far as frisbees go, I will not let anyone under first grade play with frisbees and even then, most of the first graders are still trying to learn and are more interested in other activities.
     
  20. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 3, 2008

    We do use our swing/slide contraption (with a ton of supervision), our sand table gets used often, our balls as well. All that said we get the most use out of our "Eco-lab". That is our garden with the adjouning and coverable worm digging spot. We spend a lot of time watching herbs grow, watering them and then finally cooking with them. The children love that area. The butterflies love that area as well. We do pull our markers and journals outside and take breaks from the regular playground running to draw and document and log and think. Kids don't get enough outdoor time with purpose these days. Anyway, that is my two cents worth. BTW, we plant herbs to escape the poisionous plant issue.
     
  21. tiffsinny

    tiffsinny Rookie

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    I do think that the wood structure is a bit too high for 3-4 year olds. I would be constantly terrified of a child falling from the top of the slide or rope. I agree also that the enclosed structure that high in the air would be difficult to supervise. We have one of those little plastic houses with a mini-kitchen inside and doors and windows...all the children LOVE to play here, and the windows make it pretty easy to supervise, and since it's on the ground it's easy to check out by just walking over.

    I have mixed feelings on the Dome Climber...our center has one, and while many of the children love it and use it daily, it scares me sometimes. Several times children have gotten their arm caught in this awful way that makes it look like it's going to break, and I've had to rush over to pick them up out of it...they've always been fine, but now I make sure I stay near the dome if they're using it.

    Other than that, we have a couple small spring riders that the children enjoy, and your standard 2 slides, bridge, steering wheel sort of playground.

    I wish we had that rubbery sort of groundcover...I'm jealous when I see it somewhere else. Sand is too messy for me. We used to have woodchips, but bugs are attracted to them and they gave us these giant bark bricks last time we ordered them. So we switched to the ground up tires...I don't mind these, they're the best groundcover we've had yet, but they still get tracked all over the sidewalk and stuck in children's sandals.
     
  22. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    We do have non pourable recycled rubber mats from matfactory.com out of CA. They are tested to 12 feet and passed with my WA Dept of Licensing. They are waffle mats that fit together. Public school wouldn't use them here since the playgrounds are open to public in off hours and they could steal the mats, if you are closed after hours I wouldn't worry too much. At least these don't track surfacing into the room where it then becomes a hazzard and breaks cleaning equipment. However, that said, we really spend most of our time in the gardens. We have very little to fall off of, or get hit with. We water, plant and pretend. The children love it, and we don't have many incident reports. Again, as above, watch your toxic plant list and avoid those that are harmful.
     
  23. ssondere

    ssondere New Member

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    Mar 4, 2009

    Great Playground equipment

    We purchased our playground equipment through Shadefla located in Miami. Top quality, lots of choices and great customer service. They also provide fun water slides, outdoor canopy structures and much more!
     

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