Five of the best outdoor play equipment pieces that meet these needs are sand pits, swing sets, climbing frames, slides and playhouse structures.
Often when space is short several of these elements can be combined in one multi-function piece of equipment – for instance, a swing set plus a slide; a slide plus a climbing frame, a playhouse and a slide.
Sand pits are one of the tried-and-true long-time family favorites. Not only does it allow for shoveling and manipulating sand which is good exercise, it allows for untrammelled use of imagination as whole highway systems, fields, construction zones, and castles are created.
With inexpensive additions like pails, buckets, plastic containers recycled from the kitchen and water for firming up sand, children can be occupied for hours. Children love the opportunity to harvest flowers from the perennial bed to decorate sand "cakes" for their sand pit tea parties.
Swing sets with multiple features, such as two swings, a glider, a larger seat and a slide provide many opportunities for interaction without shortage of materials for multiple children. Climbing up and down the slide and achieving height on the swing all call for good exercise.
Climbing frames also give plenty of strengthening exercise for arms and legs as children climb and swing by their arms. Structures can be used as imaginative play areas. Structure size should be determined by the number of children using it.
Slides give such a thrill, especially to younger children. The height and length of slide should be tailored to the age group of the children using it. A slide needs a certain amount of sharing as the sliding can only be done one at a time. But another function of outdoor play equipment is to promote cooperation and sharing, so this serves its purpose as well.
Play Structures & Treehouses
Playhouses or other play structures offer so many opportunities for shared and imaginative play. Whole days can be spent creating a world of unique scenarios in a space children can truly call their own. Some children would even wish to take naps or sleep overnight in their play structure.