Without a doubt, one of the most talked about parts of the Early Childhood program has been its slick new Primary Playground for the 3-5 year olds at our Pudong campus. At least in my household, as I have two children who are in this age range at the school. So naturally, I gave the playground my ‘white glove parent’ look-over and was very pleased with what I found. Here are some things I admired and what other schools can focus on when they make their own early childhood playground purchase:

  • Safe finger holds – multiple holes in a layer design means little ones have many places to hold on to. Further, the increments between the steps were marginal and the material used in the steps was this plastic composite that didn’t feel hot despite the sun beating on it. I was impressed with the many ways the designers used for climbing – offering a good variety.
  • Super swings with small linking stainless steel chains that won’t rust. The rubber bottom looks to last a long time whether the users are swinging or standing on it. Further, the double lace into the seat will deter side swinging tricksters. Our international school made a good choice in having sand around the swings as well because places that have rubber it ‘rubs’ down into ruts, the sand can be replaced easily and is softer.
  • Bouncing Bonanzawhether you have one, two or three on this bouncer, it’s fun. There are no strange foot traps either waiting to tear at an ankle when the bell goes. The black coils in the middle are flexible, yet firm and there is no chance of anyone losing a finger or toe; so additional friends could sit in the middle and cheer on the bouncing. The engineers did a good job laying a sponge on the ground for any spills – it is also resistant to liquids and you can’t beat the bright colors. Also, the wide berth given will mean kids can run around the bouncers as they are playing. Very nice.
  • Rocketing Funthis spaceship design had the kids screaming and the holes are large enough that even for children raised in unhealthy homes can make it through them. The black rubber edge on the bottom looks like it will last a long time and keeps body parts safe. The ladder was a true work of art having no parts that could hurt anyone – no rope burn as it has a heat resistant composite plastic cover and the rungs were sturdy. One could even bounce on the ladder although I’m sure this fun would be stopped soon. There were no screws to scratch heads at any point – I even got down and looked up where I’m sure some kids would like to hide – nothing. Once again – attention to design detail will mean hours of play for our young students.
  • Comfortable hand grips that don’t look like they will fall off for a long time and appear able to withstand the effects of the weather and temperature.100-1713-medium.jpg

Even with all the best design, kids are kids and so the teachers had lessons for our young ones on how to walk and use the playground (ie don’t walk in front of the swinging students, no jumping off the top of the rocket…)

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