It’s Just Swings and Roundabouts – Traditional Playground Equipment

The phrase, ‘Swings and Roundabouts’, refers to a situation where there are as many advantages as disadvantages. Where playground equipment is concerned there are no disadvantages to playing on either a swing or a roundabout, except that you may have to wait to take your turn. Until 1948 when the first adventure playground was built in Camberwell London all children’s playgrounds were traditionally designed with swings, roundabouts, slides and climbing frames. Most of the equipment was made out of metal and generally unsafe, fortunately there is now a European Safety Standard for Playground Equipment.

Modern and Traditional

Playgrounds today look quite different from playgrounds of the past. Children can now benefit from various playground equipment that has been devised to either exercise parts of their body or inspire imaginative play. Most playgrounds have towers with bridges, nets, climbing walls and poles with a slide coming off the side. Traditional playground equipment still exists in playgrounds today but they look very different to the swings and roundabouts of the past.

Knee Saving Roundabouts

Roundabouts in the past used to be fast, fun and exciting with a real element of danger. It was not uncommon for children to scuff their knees on the ground if they fell off the roundabout; also there were so many nooks and crannies where fingers and feet could get trapped. Playdale has eliminated the danger of the old fashioned roundabout but can still create the thrill associated with speed and acceleration. The clever design of the Orbit roundabout prevents any of the accidents caused by old fashioned roundabouts by making sure that the base is flush to the ground and cannot be tipped.

Safety Swings

Although the principle behind swinging hasn’t changed, the presentation of swings most certainly has. In the past a swing was just a swing and hung from its metal frame over its concrete base enticing children to feel the thrill of flying. Thankfully modern day swings are much friendlier and they come in different designs to suit different age ranges and play requirements. We have; toddler swings, cradle swings, team swings and mega swings. All Playdale swings are tested and Kitemarked by BSI to BS EN 1176 and provide different surfacing options to make sure that children can enjoy swinging without hurting themselves.

Super Slides

Years ago slides seemed to literally be based on the design of a banana and involved long climb up rickety steps to an almost vertical drop. Slides in the past made you scream out of fear not fun as you were taking real risks every time you slid down it. Modern day slides have been designed to make you feel thrilled and exhilarated and scream out with joy. Playdale have designed many different versions of slides including, freestanding slides, embankment slides and tube slides. As with all playground equipment designed by Playdale, equipment is tested and certified to BS EN 1176.

Crazy Climbing Frames

You may still have an old fashioned climbing frame in your local playground, it is generally dome shaped with a pole in the middle and a tiny little doorway at the side. Children still enjoy the challenge of reaching the top and sliding down the pole but are limited by the lack of climbing possibilities. Playdale have designed climbing frames that emulate climbing opportunities in the natural world. Playdale climbing frames are made from timber, netting and tyres giving children an interesting and varied climbing experience. Again you can be guaranteed that these climbing frames will be safe as they are tested and Kitemarked by BSI to BS EN 1176

If you would like to have further advice on how to incorporate traditional playground equipment into your playground please contact us here or phone 015395 39837


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