Avenlur’s Guide to Buying Slides for Kids
From the 1903 bamboo slide at Coney Island and the wood rooftop slide in New York City in 1900 to the young Russian Tsar who had his slide in one of the imperial palaces in 1910, this playground accessory has a long, rich history.
Today’s slides have evolved tremendously. They are found in parks, outdoor playgrounds, backyards, and private indoor jungle gyms.
Yet what hasn’t changed is the fun that this playground accessory can produce.
Beyond the fun, there are several slide benefits, and at Avenlur, we’re here to show you how adding this piece of equipment to your outdoor playground can take playing to a whole new level.
Why do children love playing on slides?
Children are fearless thrill-seekers when exploring the natural world around them. This is how they learn. Yet, in today’s environment, with the many safety precautions and guidelines, the thrill and adrenaline rush associated with play is often eliminated or tempered. The children’s slide is one of the few remaining places where a child can genuinely enjoy the excitement without fear of a significant injury.
The next time you have a moment with your toddler, ask them what their favorite piece of equipment is, and they’ll answer more than likely answer the slide!
What are the benefits of slides?
Its popularity alone should be reason enough to include a slide in your outdoor or indoor playground. Apart from having fun, does a slide offer significant enough benefits to include a slide in your jungle gym? The answer is a resounding yes for the following reasons.
They energize kids
Who doesn’t love that rush from sliding down a play structure to the bottom? We’re sure you remember it from your childhood. That breeze in your face, the sound of the wind in your ears, and the sudden stop at the end were so refreshing that you couldn’t wait to climb back up to the top and slide down again.
Slides provide a thrill and give kids an injection of energy, unlike any other piece of playground equipment.
They improve a child’s upper and lower body strength.
To reach the top of a wooden playground slide, kids must climb, requiring the use of their lower and upper body muscles to do so. It also draws on a kid’s balance and coordination. Yet most children aren’t deterred because the thrill of the slide is so enticing they’ll use all their strength to pull themselves up the climbing frames or ladder to reach the top of the slide.
They can improve a child’s confidence.
Slides can stir a child’s confidence and desire to explore. Gliding down a plastic or wood plane might be fun; climbing to the top of the slide structure takes courage. It can also be intimidating if the slide is tall or extra long. Children can be left feeling proud and confident in their capacity to make it down the slide with a smile on their faces.
They strengthen a kid’s core muscles.
Apart from arm and leg strength, sitting in the sliding position (upright with legs extended) requires strong stomach muscles. This supports greater muscle development and encourages children to stay strong and healthy.
They offer tremendous social benefits.
Kids must practice patience, social communication, and spatial awareness when using the slide. They must learn to move on and around the slide without bumping into other children using the same equipment. They need to speak with others about whose turn it is and be able to wait their turn if it’s busy.
They provide unstructured play.
As the late renowned pediatrician and child development expert, Dr. Maria Montessori often stressed children thrive during unstructured playtime. Free play, as it’s otherwise known, allows children to interact with their environment without rules, regulations, and guidelines.
Slides encourage this, to play without rules or a fixed schedule. In turn, this type of free play encourages cognitive, motor skills, and emotional development.
What should I look for when purchasing one?
Though you don’t want to hinder your child as they enjoy themselves on a slide, your role as the parent is to ensure they use the most suitable play equipment for their age, size, and interest level. The following factors must be considered before making a slide purchase.
The price is always a significant factor when deciding on a slide. The best advice is to get online and look at different slide makers to ensure you don’t pay too much for a slide. Remember, you get what you pay for; that’s why a cheap slide doesn’t necessarily mean you got a good deal. It might translate to a poorly-made piece of equipment needing replacement or repair within a year. Buying a more expensive slide means your child will have the most enjoyable and safest experience.
Consider if you want to purchase more than just a slide. Ask yourself if your toddler or children need a jungle gym with a slide or a wood playset with a climbing triangle and slide. It will be far more cost effective to buy a playset with different accessories, such as a climbing ramp, slide, and swing, instead of purchasing these items separately.
Though most slides are made of plastic or metal, other materials, including wood, can be used to build these playground accessories. Many online articles stress the durability and cost-effectiveness of metal or plastic, but a wood slide can be equally such when made well.
Avenlur’s slides are made using New Zeland Pine treated in natural-based lacquers. This means it is good for your health and the environment.
What are the weight limits for the slide you’re considering? Does your child have to be a specific height to use it? Or does the slide have to be a certain length?
These are some questions you must ask when purchasing any playground item, including a slide. Slides, like any other accessory, come in
a variety of heights. A reputable playground manufacturer will stipulate the height and weight of each piece of equipment they make, including slides.
Whether you live in the city with little to no outdoor space or have an expansive backyard, you must consider where you will install your slide. Do you have enough space for a playset with a slide, or do you need a slide that fits into your living room and folds up when you’ve got guests?
At Avenlur, we have several different-sized slides, including some that fold up and store, while others offer a more permanent installation.