Mixing old and new: how to add new equipment to your playground
Playground equipment is always evolving, so it makes sense that there are times when you will want to add new equipment but still retain some of the older elements. Mixing old and new playground equipment can prove challenging, as there are many different aspects you need to take into account.
Budget and the price of the new equipment will likely have a huge impact on the type of equipment you add to your playground equipment, but there will also be other factors that will play a part.
How to decide what to keep
Unless you already know which equipment you want to get rid of and what you want to keep, it can be difficult deciding what you want to retain. Carrying out a playground audit, in which you fully evaluate the condition of all playground equipment can help you decide if or what you need to remove due to safety concerns or damage. Alternatively, you can evaluate which equipment is popular and which has less footfall at break and lunch times, as an indication to see what children enjoy playing on.
Choosing the right type of equipment
Once you know what you want to keep and what equipment you want to get rid of you then can decide what you want to replace it with. Choosing equipment that will complement your existing playground equipment is key to mixing old and new.
One way of doing this is by installing equipment that provides an alternative function to what you already have installed, for example if your current playground equipment encourages children to be active, consider adding new equipment that encourages creativity such as musical instruments. As well as this, it is important to ensure that the new equipment retains the same feel as the old. If your existing equipment is made from timber, for example, your new equipment will fit in seamlessly if it is also made from timber or a similar material.
Factoring in space
The amount of space you have will also have an impact on the new equipment you install. If you are adding equipment, without removing any of the existing ones, you will need to consider how the new equipment will impact the space you have available. Alternatively, if the new equipment will be replacing ones that are to be removed, you need to ensure that the equipment you want to install is roughly the same size in order to fit into the available space safely.
Selecting the right surface
Selecting the right surface for your playground equipment goes a lot further than aesthetics. Depending on the type of equipment you are installing, ensuring that the surfacing provides the right safety features is vital. Any equipment that involves children climbing, jumping, swinging or sliding from a height will need safety surfacing that cushions their landing. As well as this, any equipment that children could fall off and injure themselves needs surfacing that will help to cushion their fall. Safety surfacing is even more important for equipment aimed at younger children, as they are often less stable and more likely to fall off equipment even if it is close to the ground.
If you would like an informal talk about replacing your old playground equipment with new equipment, contact us via our contact form or call us on 01252 515199.