When planning or designing a playground, in terms of safety, one of the most important factors to consider is which age group the playground will cater to most. In playgrounds the most common age groups are the five to twelve year old range, the five and under range, and the toddler and under range. Big kid equipment may not be well suited for children who can’t really reach all the features, plus the larger attractions may endanger those smaller individuals. Age group determinations not only play a vital role in playground equipment selection, but also determine what site amenities will most likely need to be present—with regard to safety. For instance, if the site focuses on meeting the demands of the five and under range, a short fence may be useful to prevent wandering off.
Playground equipment is specifically designed to match the needs of certain age groups. From Miracle Recreation Company, a line named Toddler’s Choice best accommodates an age range of two to five. This line has completed versions of playgrounds that can be used in indoor and outdoor settings. Complete with climbers, slides, and mini-games, the set-ups from this line help prepare kindergarten and preschool age children for the next level of play—while of course instilling them with certain benefits of play. Ideally, these would be located at “day-care centers, hospitals, and churches.”
Miracle Recreation Company also offers playscapes for that middle class of kids that ride the edge between big and small. This line is called Tot’s Choice. Equipment from Tot’s Choice is medium sized and the features available aren’t too advanced but are definitely a step up from those in Toddler’s Choice. These complete sets have multi-shaped slides, more challenging climbers, ladders, and are set higher off the ground. These are more commonly found in parks and on school yards and church grounds.
Catering to the five to twelve year old range is Kid’s Choice. This highly functional, significantly developed line is set higher off the ground still and the complete models have fast slides, complex designs, exciting attractions, and challenging features. Over-head climbers and rock walls, for the enjoyment of older kids, can be found on these sets. Overall, what separates this line from the other two is the size and scope of equipment, which may be unfit for young children. When it comes to equipment, catering to the appropriate age range satisfies safety standards and also to makes the experience more fun for kids.