Commercial Playgrounds

Why Do Parks Use Commercial Playground Equipment?

Public playgrounds and parks use commercial playground equipment to provide safe and fun equipment to children. Parks must use commercial equipment because dozens of children may be playing on the equipment at one time. Commercial equipment allows fun for a large number of children, will still providing safe and strong structural endurance.  This type of playground equipment can accommodate a large volume of children, parents and guardians due to the large amount of weight and wear and tear that a commercial structure can accommodate. Commercial playground equipment comes in many different colors, offers a variety of activities for different ages and is regulated by government safety groups.

Commercial playgrounds are also made of steel, plastic and possibly lumber. Playgrounds used to use mulch, dirt or bark dust to cushion the play area, but today rubber mats and foam are often used. These types of material provide padding, while also avoiding things like splinters or cuts. Commercial play equipment of today is often brightly colored, with dozens of different activities available to children to play on. Today many commercial playgrounds have different areas for children of different ages. A smaller area with slides low to the ground and small steps may be for younger children, while older children could have climbing walls and steeper slides.

Commercial playground equipment is divided into balancing toys, spinning toys, slides, hanging toys and climbing toys. Balancing activities at playgrounds may consist of balance beams, log rolls or stepping stones. Spinning toys may range from merry go rounds to sit and spin platforms. Slides can be straight, curvy and can be geared towards older or younger children. Hanging activities at the playground may include hanging trapezes, rolling bars or monkey bars.  Climbing equipment can also include monkey bars, but also climbing walls, climbing arches, cargo nets or sometimes climbing ropes.

Other newer items that commercial playground structures have are activity panels or walls. These may be alphabet boards, mirrors, spinning blocks, steering wheels or pretend trucks and trains. Many parks have an educational and recreational component, making the park a learn and have fun zone. Parks have many state and federal regulations they must follow when building and selecting play ground equipment. Most commercial playground equipment meets the safety guidelines put in place by the government.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) are the two biggest regulatory boards for playground equipment and playground safety.

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