Everything there is to know about… Roundabouts


Head spinning, light headedness and our surroundings whizzing past our eyes. As adults there is nothing worse, but as children these nausea inducing feelings are hilarious and can never happen enough. The main culprit of these feelings as a child is usually found in playgrounds, and is called… the roundabout.
The history of the playground favourite is unclear, with no records of the first recorded version. Imagining a roundabout, however, and we think of a 2m diameter disc with steel safety bars and seats, although in reality there are many variations of this theme. Nowadays, you can get roundabouts designed for single users, duos and for disabled access. Even rope pyramids can rotate around the single, central axis that defines a roundabout. There is often a sub division of roundabouts, sometimes calling small, individual products as spinners. The actual basic principle stays the same however.
Near enough all roundabouts are made from steel with bearings allowing free movement. Colourful HDPE panels can also be used in various designs. The fun and bright designs make this a popular piece of playground equipment.

Speed Demons

Part of the reason children love the roundabout so much is down to the speed. There are many video clips of users trying to get roundabouts to go faster, such as using a motorbike wheel revved up to push the roundabout around (highly not recommended!). Even films like Despicable Me shows children cheering in delight as a broken off engine from a rocket ship propels the roundabout at high speeds. Being young makes children high risk takers, with the more danger possible the better. Making sure roundabouts are well designed, well maintained and meeting the highest possible safety standards is essential. No matter how brave children are they are not indestructible, although they may think differently!
Playgrounds are all about experiencing different movements, from swinging, climbing and rotating. Offering these different elements is essential to providing users with as challenges as possible. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life.

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