When you visit a playground, examine the equipment according to three key criteria:
Are all the playground components connected tightly? Are surfaces—especially handholds—PVC coated to protect children's hands from temperature extremes? Are there any sharp metal edges, like exposed fasteners or expanded metal coming through worn PVC coating? Do the slides feature slidehoods with built-in handbars for safer sliding?
All play structures look good when they're new. But how well do they stand up after three to five years of hard play? The most obvious signs of excessive wear are rusting or worn weldments (the metal that connects the parts of components), sagging, warped or cracked slides, and "moving parts" that no longer move. (Check out the Track Rides!)
Overhead play events? Bridges? Interactive play panels? Look for play structures complex enough to challenge kids with a variety of play experiences that help them develop coordination and confidence.
A Landscape Structures playground consultant can help point out the play structure features you should examine most and answer any questions you may have. To help you learn more about the benefits of visiting playgrounds, read our article "Why Visit a Playground?" which explains how to get the most out of your field trip experience.
To begin your adventure, visit Landscape Structures playgrounds near you.