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What elements are included in a playground?

Playgrounds can include many elements, depending on your site, budget and ages of children who will be using it. Typically, a playground includes a composite play structure that consists of several attached play events. These can include slides, play panels, decks, playground climbers and overhead events. Then, your playground can also offer freestanding components, separate from the composite structure, like climbers, swings, ride-on events, spinners and additional slides. Every playground also needs some type of safety surfacing underneath — like shredded rubber, poured-in-place rubber or treated wood chips — to reduce injuries.

What is a play structure?

A play structure is a playground structure with several play events that are attached to one another. A play structure utilizes the “continuous play” concept, and kids can participate in many activities without touching the ground.

What is a play event?

A play event, or play component, is a piece of commercial playground equipment that attaches to a play structure and provides an activity. Examples of play events include swings, slides, play panels, climbers and spinners.

What is a freestanding component?

A freestanding component, or standalone play event, is a piece of commercial playground equipment that is not attached to a play structure. Some examples are Saddle Spinners, ride-on events, independent swings,  climbers and  climbers.

What is an overhead event?

An overhead event is suspended above the ground and requires primarily upper body strength. Examples of overhead events include overhead ladders, Track Rides.

What is a play panel?

A play panel offers an individual playground activity. Also known as an enclosure, these panels are designed to inform and educate, and let kids use their creativity. Some examples include the Tic-Tac-Toe panel, the Periscope panel and the Hourglass panel.

What is a play structure deck?

Decks are used to support the play structure and provide a platform on which kids can stand. They are usually manufactured with sturdy steel and offer a coating to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Playground decks come in many shapes to provide design flexibility, from hexagons to triangles to octagons.

What is a play structure roof?

Play structure roofs provide both a design element and shade from harmful UV rays. They come in several materials, including polyethylene, galvanized steel or covered in fabric, such as our CoolToppers® shade systems for playgrounds.

What are play structure bridges?

Play structure bridges provide a fun way for kids to move from one end of a play structure to the other. They may be comprised of poly pods, steel with bouncy action, perforated steel or nylon-reinforced rubber, and may be straight, curved or arched.

What is a play structure climber?

A playground climber gives kids an opportunity to use their muscles and their creativity. Climbers may be attached to a play structure or may stand alone. They may be similar to a rock climbing wall or climbing stone, a spider web, a fire pole or many other styles. They may be three-dimensional or flat, take kids from the top to bottom of a play structure or let them climb up, down and over.