As many older generations know, playground equipment has come a long way. Playgrounds had their start in the 19th century and although playgrounds for children were a great idea they were not always the most safe places like they are today. They did keep kids off of the streets, gave them something creative and fun to do and helped the children burn energy.  Playgrounds have evolved over the years to make these play area safer and more efficient for children. I am going to take you through some of the original pieces of play equipment that kids used way back when.

  • Giant Strides – With a pole in the center there were several ropes or chains that came from the top. Several children would be able to grab a hold of a hanging piece and swing around the pole. This cause children to get bumped into and many injuries.
  • Witch’s Hat – This is another multi user piece of equipment. There is a pole that is in the middle with a contraption that was in the shade of a cone that resembled a witch’s hat for kids to climb and stand on. The cone was able to spin around the pole so kids would have a competition who could stay on the longest before flying off.
  • Metal Slides – Kids would get to zip down these slides after they had been sitting under the hot sun all day. Many of these slides also had a much steeper slope than what is allowed today making the slide down a little more blood pumping.
  • Metal and Wooden Swings – Swings have always been a favorite on the playground but I’m sure kids were even more thrilled when swing seats were changed to rubber instead of wood or metal. The metal seats would burn backsides and the wooden swings would cause splinters.
  • Teeter Totters – A playground products made for two, this piece had a lot of ups and downs. Back in the day they were made with a long wooden board that rested on top of an elevated pole. Each participant would sit at each end of the long plank and jump up and down in the air. Many kids would get injured when their partner would get off before they were able to come down.

With all of these crazy playground pieces it’s no wonder we have some many regulations on playground products now. Although, without these pieces we wouldn’t have some of the greatest and safest playground products on the market today! If your child plays on a playground that does not have all of the safety measures that it should then be sure to make your HOA, school or whoever is in charge of that playground equipment aware of what needs to be done to make that playground safe for children to play on.