Things have definitely changed since the first playgrounds came to be. These were long before our time, of course, and they may have involved little more than a great climbing tree with plenty of green grass underfoot.
In fact, think about it: we probably made our own playgrounds “back in our day” even. Some may have had a stack of hay bales in some parts of the world, which not many of us would think of letting our children play on today. “You’ll break your neck,” my mother would say to my siblings, cousins and me, as she knew we had been moving small bales around to make a fort to either shelter us from the sun or just to play hide-and-go-seek inside. I grew up in a pretty rural area, which lent itself to all kinds of creativity, a mandatory ingredient to complete our daily entertainment, especially in the summertime.
Our water play was either the sprinkler or maybe even a canal or ditch some days. We didn’t mind the mud…as I said, things have changed quite a bit over the years. Not that I don’t ever get out and get dirty, that’s healthy, it’s just not quite on the same level now.
Consider the play structure on the cover of this issue. It was put in place likely before I was old enough to go down that tall, rusty slide of today. The funny thing is, my own children thought that was a great playground area and had been down that slide a few years ago before it was so dilapidated. The swings were in check up until not too long ago actually, but that playground as a whole has seen better days.
The playground industry has come so far over the past few decades. It’s easy to see that those structures are badly in need of replacement, and frankly, if I could give a bit of advice to the owner of the playground, I’d hand him a copy of this Buyer’s Guide and tell him to take a look inside. The manufacturers of today have done a fine job of creating fun, interesting, safe and durable play structures so our children don’t have to play on unsound, questionable structures.
I have to admit that playground area holds some fun memories from the times my children played at it, but there comes a time to take photographs so as not to forget, but move on to bigger and better things for our children.
I would give the same advice to anyone with an older structure that needs replacing. You’ll find all the biographies, photos and listings for the major manufacturers in the industry today, and these companies are committed to providing a quality product they can stand behind.
Never has shopping for structures, related products and organizational information been so easy to find that at your fingertips in this guide. Take the time to check it out and get acquainted with the people of the playground industry. We have fine organizations who are also dedicated to educating the user of all the ins and outs of safety, designing playground areas and purchasing play structures. Between the help these organizations and manufacturers have to offer, you need to look no further. You’ll find it all right here. Take a look at how far we really have come over the years.