Playgrounds are a hugely important part of society. Not only do they provide a safe space for children to play and explore, but they can also have huge benefits on a child’s development, both physical and mental. Today, children spend their time sliding, swinging and climbing in some of the most creative structures but it wasn’t always like this. Playground equipment, as with everything in life, has evolved. Not only has playground equipment become more creative but manufacturers are now required to meet certain safety regulations and it’s this consistent improvement that has made playtime not only safer but of far more benefit.
In The Beginning…
The very first playground or at least the very first notion of a supervised playground originated in Germany in the 1800’s. They were basic, simple piles of sand supervised by the police. In 1885, a German doctor took the idea of a playground to Boston and the Boston Sand Gardens became the first supervised playground in the United States. Fast forward a few years and a public gymnasium was opened that incorporated both fitness equipment as well as playground equipment such as swings, ladders and even seesaws. Just a little later in 1906 the Playground Association of America was organised. There were playgrounds in schools and support for further development of playgrounds in communities.
Safe Playground Equipment
As you’d imagine, the very early playgrounds didn’t quite possess the same safety features we’re lucky enough to benefit from today. A great example of this would be the fact that the maypole swing didn’t have a seat or that playground markings were not designed to soften falls. If children lost grip, they fell and in some cases, swung quite brutally into the pole. To provide a more child friendly option, in 1920 Sebastian Hinton constructed the very first ‘Jungle Gym’. Despite the good intentions of Mr Hinton, the jungle gym still wasn’t as safe as many had hoped, with rough edges and rough surfaces beneath it. Slides were made from wood, as were swings and merry-go-rounds were
With New Materials Came New Standards
As more durable materials were developed, so too did safety standards. As a result, companies began to manufacture playground equipment that was far safer. As safety standards rose, so too did the ability of playground equipment and its strategic design that made it not only more accessible for children of all abilities, but more purposeful in its design too, aiding children in the development of their physical strength and capabilities.
Playgrounds Of Today
Playgrounds have evolved hugely since the sand piles of the 1800’s. Playgrounds today are manufactured from durable and safe equipment. Not only that but the playground equipment made by the likes of Sovereign Early Years, one of the UK’s leading playground equipment manufacturers, are made to the very highest safety standards and have been made with the child’s development in mind. For more information on modern day, durable, safe and developmental playground equipment, contact Sovereign Early Years today on 01702 804198.