Playground Equipment – The Art of Safe Fun

Building safe jungle gyms are certainly not child’s play. The safety of children on the playground is always of top priority, and that goes beyond simply monitoring them and establishing playtime rules. Playground safety should come right down to the construction of your jungle gyms, obstacle courses, and all other playground equipment.

Playground sets and climbing equipment needs to be manufactured with the correct components and techniques. This is to prevent playground-related injuries as a result of poor construction or unstable structural integrity. At Kidbuddie we set ourselves apart from our competitors with tried and trusted construction methods and materials for our jungle gyms.

Jungle Gym Supports: Predrilled vs Threaded rods

As you can see, threaded rods look sloppy and create hair and finger traps. 

Others may copy our designs, but that doesn’t mean they mimic our dedication to safety. Many turns to the use of threaded rods to keep the structure together, and this often requires that they use extra bracing to keep the structure stable, which looks untidy and is dangerous.

These structures look thrown together in general, as rungs are attached rather than forming part of the structure. This, as well as the threaded rods, creates prime spots for hair and finger traps, which will injure children. It’s also a recipe for cuts, scrapes, and bumps.

At Kidbuddie we use predrilled upright poles, ensuring that all connections are seamless and secure. The various parts of our jungle gyms connect together to form one stable structure, rather than having rungs and supports attached to the main structure.

Jungle Gym Materials: Timber vs Latte and Gum

This jungle gym has thin latte sapling rungs and gum poles for the structure. This is very unsafe.

Others have taken to using latte saplings and gum poles (Eucalyptus) in their jungle gyms as both rungs, monkey bars and supports. This is not secure or stable and is not heavy duty enough to support the weight of children or adults.

Latte saplings are thin, and not advised to be used as railings or rungs on a jungle gym. If someone is too heavy they’ll break right through them, and if you fall against them they can easily snap. Gum poles, on the other hand, are not as easily turned and tumbled as pine timber, which results in poles that are thin and not straight enough to function as supports/upright poles. In fact, many of them tend to bend, which results in playground equipment that is as precarious as it looks.

See how these gum poles aren’t straight? And both the gum poles and saplings have uneven surfaces.

Latte and gum poles are also more natural in appearance as if they’ve just been cut from the tree. This means there are irregularities on the surface, bumps and ridges that can easily cut and scrape your child during playtime. On the other hand, sapling poles are thin, with narrow spaces for fences. 

At Kidbuddie our jungle gyms are only made of cylindrical turned pine timber poles that have passed SABS specifications. Our monkey bar rungs are 25mm galvanized round steel pipe that won’t rust and prevent injuries. This keeps playground equipment and play areas safe. Our construction methodology also keeps our jungle gym structures sturdy and straight, with smooth Copper Chrome Arsenic pressure-treated cylindrical pine timber poles that have been tumbled and smoothed to perfectly straight poles.

It’s Safety First with Kidbuddie Playground Equipment

Don’t compromise on quality and stability when you’re looking for playground equipment. At Kidbuddie we have an extensive history of expertly crafted children’s jungle gyms. Check out our range of products to find the right jungle gym or playground equipment for your kids.

Preschool Outdoor Play Equipment

Preschool Outdoor Play Equipment

Fresh air, friends, and exercise.

There are two main purposes of preschool outdoor play equipment for children; the first being fundamental development where they learn critical skills such as hand-eye coordination as well as risk-taking, exploring, and exercise. The second purpose of outdoor playground equipment for preschools are moving young children away from the excessive TV and computer use as studies have shown that children who constantly watch more than 4 hours of TV per day are more likely to become overweight and suffer from health issues later in life.

Safe & Secure outdoor playground equipment

When purchasing playground equipment for a preschool you need to make sure the playground has space, design, proper surfacing, and spacing. Kidbuddie strictly adheres to the playground safety standards of South Africa. Outdoor play is an important part of kids’ physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Following safety tips will help your kids play as safely as possible.

Supervised Fun

It is of utmost importance to not let children play unsupervised on outdoor play equipment, adult guidance and supervision is the best way to avoid injuries.

Playground Equipment for Children

Age appropriate preschool outdoor play equipment

Preschool for children ages 2 -5 should contain one or more of the following playground equipment:

Kidbuddie is well trusted amongst schools and has been supplying schools with playground equipment for years; our designs are built for safety and they are built to last.

Contact us if you require any assistance in purchasing the correct playground equipment for your preschool.

Why it’s important for kids to play

Important for kids to play

Why it’s important for kids to play.

For kids playing is simply playing. It’s having fun, taking a break from school or sitting at the restaurant table. Getting rid of some of that extra built up energy. So  why is it important for kids to play? When they play on a playground or jungle gym however, it is much more than just playing. It’s promoting healthy childhood development, both physically and emotionally.


Why it’s important for kids to play – The Physical benefits of a playground:

Swinging is one of the most basic of activities, yet it teaches a child so much. It teaches the child how to balance themselves and being lifted off the ground promotes spatial awareness. Furthermore, their fine motor skills are improved by the gripping of the rope or chains. Their gross motor skills are improved by using their legs to propel themselves. By completing the swinging action, they improve their coordination. They also learn how their own bodies can influence direction and speed.

Climbing also develops gross motor skills, children learn to propel themselves upward with their legs and pull themselves up with their arms. When they climb an obstacle with multiple hand and footholds they learn to become aware of their surroundings, this tie in with promoting problem solving. When they are busy climbing they must think ahead, where should I put my hand, where should my foot go next or how am I going to get down? This is beneficial both in and out of the classroom.

Monkey bars, just like swings, promote both fine and gross motor skills. Children learn to grip the bars and use their arms and body to swing to the next bars. This also helps improve coordination and balance while simultaneously becoming aware of where the bars are in relation to their own bodies.


Why it’s important for kids to play – The social and brain development on a playground:

Generally, kids do not play alone. When surrounded by other children their age they tend to make friends very quickly, they play together and learn to interact with other children of their own age promoting healthy social growth.

It sparks their imagination. When playing with friends, or even when playing alone, the playground becomes more than a wooden frame with a slide; it becomes a pirate ship or a castle or one of the all-time favorites: the floor becomes lava.

Problem solving ends up being an integral part of a playground. Children do not always agree, one might want the playground to be a boat and the other might want it to be a castle. In the end they will learn to compromise and solve their problems together.


Why it’s important for kids to play – The Emotional development on a playground:

Kids will feel emotions regardless of whether they are on a playground or not. However, the playground teaches them to regulate those emotions themselves.

When they fall, they learn to get up, when someone else falls, they learn to help them up. Being surrounded by others with the same or slightly higher emotional level as they are helps them learn appropriate reactions and control.

When someone else is using the play equipment they want to use they might get angry or upset. However, the more they are faced with this, the more opportunities they have to learn how to control their emotions when things aren’t going their way.

The playground is an emotional place for children, filled with a lot of excitement and fun, but also with challenges. In the end experiencing and learning to control all those emotions are an integral part of growing up and their long-term emotional health.

Playgrounds are much more beneficial than you might have thought. It’s more than just a way to get a few minutes break from the kids. Playgrounds are not just for playing, they are for learning, developing and making friends and that is why it’s important for kids to play.

Every child deserves a space where both they and their imagination can run free, where they can fight off pirates, escape the lava and free the princess.  

What is CCA treatment and is it safe to use?

What is CCA treatment and is it safe to use?

CCA (Copper-Chrome-Arsenate) is an industrial wood preservative. It protects wood against both insects and rot caused by fungi. It was first developed in 1933 but has been commonly used in South Africa since the 70’s.

This treatment is only applied under regulated and controlled conditions in an industrial wood preservation plant certified by SABS or SATAS and approved by the NRCS.

Why use CCA treated wood:

1. CCA is the best option

Even though alternative wood preservatives are available, CCA is by comparison the best option out there. Other products tend to be less effective or extremely hazardous. In some cases they are not readily available and far too costly. The most popular alternatives are Creosote or other copper bindings such as ACQ (Alkaline-Copper Quaternary) or Copper Azole.

Creosote has a prominent smell and oily characteristics. This makes it more suitable for applications such as fencing, railways, telephone poles or other industrial/agricultural applications. When combined with CCA this is suitable for marine related applications. Creosote should not be applied to a product where direct contact, possible digestion or long periods of close proximity is expected.

ACQ and Copper Azole are new generation inorganic alternatives. They are new to South Africa and not widely available for use.

2. CCA is safe to use

An eight-year study in the United states done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that CCA treated wood had no toxic effect on humans that had prolonged contact with the substance.

Since the treatments development in 1933 and after worldwide use for the past 6 decades there have been no reported health issues linked to the correct usage of CCA treated wood. CCA is a passive material that dissuades insects from attacking the wood and prevents fungi building up, it does not kill the insects in the same way a pesticide would but rather renders the wood unsavory to them.

It can only be applied through an industrial high-pressure process. During this process the CCA fixes to the lignocellulose in the wood which ensures that it protects the wood for longer.

The fixation procedure also ensures that the CCA becomes immobile. This means that unlike the Creosote which gives off an oily texture the CCA will remain fixed to the wood.

3. CCA is environmentally friendly

The treatment of the wood prolongs its life span. You not only benefit from a long-lasting product, you are also actively taking place in the conservation of forest resources.

CCA treated wood lasts longer than a new tree could grow. This ensures that fewer trees need to be cut down.

After considering all information available it can be concluded that CCA treatment is safe to use and poses no health risk to humans when in prolonged contact with a treated product.

The safety of everyone that encounters our products is of the utmost importance to us, which is why we take every precaution in treating all our products the correct way, ensuring a long-lasting and safe environment for everyone.

Still not convinced?

Feel free to read more in this detailed document from SAWPA:

Click here for more information