Swings- probably the most popular piece of play equipment in the playground. It’s the feeling of flying like a bird that makes this such as huge success since the first swings were designed and created, feeling weightless and being able to touch the sky. But what do you know about the humble swing?
The first swing recorded come from the 5th Century B.C. with paintings of children and women swinging painted on vases. Since then the swing has evolved and diversified into various different designs, incorporating a whole range of materials. From jungle vines to rubber tyres, the materials may well change, but the action has stayed the same through out the ages. Modern swings are usually manufactured using steel or timber, treated with preservatives to ensure a long life. When it comes to design, there are now cantilever swings, nest, hexagonal, cradle and flat seat to name but a few.
With all these options available it can be hard to know which one to chose. There are many elements to consider, as detailed below.
- What age range are the users?
- How many users do you want to use it?
- Should the swing be steel or timber?
- What surfacing will the swing need?
It may seem a mine field but just think about your users and what they would like as well as what location the swing is in to aid making decisions. You can always create a quick survey of potential users to see what their favourite swing is. Budget is always a considerable factor when making decision too but whatever you budget there are always possibilities. Make sure that whatever swing you chose it meets the BS EN 1176 safety standard to ensure the well being of its users.
The action of swinging is never going to change, but the materials and manufacturing processes will evolve the swing as we know it. One thing that is almost certainly the case though is that the swing will remain popular in playgrounds for years to come.