The Benefits of Monkey Bars

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Monkey bars aren’t just great playground equipment, they are a fun and great way to improve your posture and strength too.

Many of us spend our time in front of a computer and are unable to maintain focus an posture. Monkey bars provide a great exercise that can help maintain a postural strength. This in turn, will reduce fatigue at work.

            monkey bars for fitness by playequip

Areas of the body that monkey bars exercise are as follows:-

Latissimus Dorsi muscles

Or ‘Lats’ stabilise the movement as you pull upwards from bar to bar. Using these muscles is key in order to lift yourself up as you move forward along the monkey bar and gain momentum.

Deltoids or Shoulder Muscles

Monkey bars provide a unique exercise for your shoulders.  They extend whilst contracting in order to stabilise the movement.

Biceps

As with the Latissimus Dorsi muscles, they are both an agonist in the movement along the monkey bars and a muscle responsible for the stability of your body. As you keep you body up the agonist action is needed during each swing forward.

Abdominal muscles and Obliques

As you move forward your abdominal muscles are used to provide stability as your body moves left to right.

Monkey bars can also be used as Chin-Up bars. Yet another great exercise that works you upper body using your own body weight.

Head over to our wooden playground equipment page and take a look at some of the options. Please remember that we can build robust bespoke monkey bars to your exact requirements.

Grip Strength

Monkey bars are a great bit of fitness equipment to work on your grip strength. Extension of you finger forward and rolling back as you reach for the next bar gives you a full hand workout that you can really feel. Good grip strength is very important in your day to day life and obviously improves your ability to use other upper body fitness equipment

Take a look at the video below of some of the masters at work

For a wide selection of different monkey bars for all abilities check this link to our online store

outdoor fitness monkey bars

Bespoke playground equipment

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Why Bespoke?

PlayEquip are best known for the service we provide for teachers, parents, landscape architects and architects. It’s often the case where someone comes to us with an idea of what they want, a budget and the willingness to make the most of every penny. Often people are unnerved about the the word ‘bespoke’. This shouldn’t be the case. We have found that this is in fact the most effective way of creating exactly what you need and utilising your budget most effectively. Instead of trying make something fit, surely it makes sense to design around the space you have.

Bespoke play structure sketch

Bespoke climbing frames drawing

We craft bespoke playground equipment from the same materials we create the our ‘off-the-shelf’ equipment from. For us, creating a climbing frame to fit a 6m x 5m area is no real difference to producing one to fit a 8m x 6m area. We construct all of our products here in the UK to order, which allow total flexibility in design. We are more than happy to create safe and robust playground equipment from a quick sketch and a chat. Be assured that all of our bespoke playground equipment is design by a play safety expert and crossed check by an independent play inspector during the design process and post completion. All playground equipment that me install and design adhere the the European Safety Standards EN 1176. We enjoy working closely with our clients to make sure absolutely every detail is taken care of.

Check out some of latest bespoke playgrounds here

 

Bespoke Climbing Frames and Play Structures

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Bespoke Climbing Frames

Space is a premium, especially in the city. It’s vital to make the most of every square foot of space that you have. Through our years of developing some of the best climbing frames around, we believe that bespoke climbing frames and play structures is the only way to make the most of what you have got.

 

If you wanted a new kitchen, you wouldn’t try and make something fit, you would assess the house and it’s requirements and implement a design that suits your exact needs. With the high cost of playground equipment why would you try and make an off-the-shelf range fit in what little and valuable space you have? You’re probably now thinking the cost of this approach would be prohibitive? Well that’s where you’re wrong. Our wealth of knowledge of play design and expert knowledge of material use mean that the development of a bespoke climbing frame or structure is simpler and cheaper than you think.

If you wanted a new kitchen, you wouldn’t try and make something fit, you would assess the house and it’s requirements and implement a design that suits your exact needs. With the high cost of playground equipment why would you try and make an off-the-shelf range fit in what little and valuable space you have? You’re probably now thinking the cost of this approach would be prohibitive? Well that’s where you’re wrong. Our wealth of knowledge of play design and expert knowledge of material use mean that the development of a bespoke climbing frame or structure is simpler and cheaper than you think.
Bespoke climbing frame design
After a free consultation over a cup of tea, we will quickly formulate a plan that covers all of your requirements and maximum the potential of your budget. Our in-house design team and play safety experts* will create a concept drawing for your review free of charge. Final tweaks can then be made to the design until it’s perfect for your requirements.

Site Specific Design

We realise that most of our constructions are in sensitive locations. For this reason we create your bespoke climbing frames in modular units that can be transported from our UK workshop to site. This reduces time on site and provides a high finish in the controlled environment of a workshop.

Our UK workshop means that lead time for each project are dramatically reduced. Depending on scale, we can have a project on site within a few weeks of first contact. Construction phases can be completed within extremely short spaces of time, such as school holidays

Installation is quick, stress free and performed by our expert play specialists who have a wealth of knowledge of installation in schools, garden, parks and nurseries. We are well used to construction within root protection zones and do most excavations by hand, reducing noise and ensuring the least disruption as possible.

We believe that the old system of trying to make a square fit a circle is outdated. As the importance of play is realised more and more, we must provide the facility to make the most of it. If you a parent, teacher, architect, or third sector worker please get in touch for a chat and lets make a difference.

Check out some of our bespoke climbing frames here

PlayEquip

* All bespoke climbing frame are built to the european safety standard EN1176

 

Outdoor fitness and gym equipment for all

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Premium Outdoor Fitness Equipment For Schools, Parks & Gardens

Outdoor Fitness Equipment by PlayEquip

The gym and fitness industry are currently growing an amazing rate as education on the
importance of exercise has on person physical and mental health. The everyday pressures
of work and the physical effect that sitting at a desk all day need to be
counteracted by introducing fitness into our daily routines.

Despite of this, current studies show that only one in seven of us use the gym on a regular
basis. The importance of a healthy body and mind are well documented but obesity
levels are up and the knock on effect of this is proving to be extremely
expensive for the health service. So what can we do to help reverse this trend?

Many of us have great intensions of becoming the one in seven, but often getting in the
habit and continuing what we set out to achieve is sometimes a little
unrealistic. The cost of joining a gym can play a factor in this. Signing up to
a £30 a month contract can get very expensive especially if you’re locked into
it. We believe that access to fitness equipment should be freely available to
everyone.

Natural outdoor fitness equipment

Our wooden outdoor fitness and gym equipment can be installed and ready for use by anyone
anywhere. Once installed public parks this equipment is accessible to everyone
for free. The range of equipment is designed to provide an all around workout
for the whole body. As the equipment utilises the users body weight, its usable
for everyone no matter what their weight and size.

The wooden fitness equipment has no moving parts and is made from the most durable materials such
as large oak and robinia timbers and stainless steel. Once installed the
equipment requires very little maintenance which extremely beneficial for
councils with tight budgets.

monkey bars for fitness

Often the loud colours of the metal equipment doesn’t suit its tranquil surroundings. Our
timber fitness equipment fits perfectly into any green space and becomes an asset
rather than an eyesore. The fitness
equipment is then freely available all year round outdoors where the air where
the air is clean.

Outdoor exercise for all

We believe that the investment in outdoor fitness equipment such as ours will pay
dividends for many years to come. It provides great opportunity and freedom to
local communities to make positive steps towards living healthier and more
productive lives.

We provide complete packages of all equipment, or individual individual items such as outdoor pull-up
bars, dip bars and sit-up benches. We also provide our fitness equipment to
private gyms and for back gardens.

Check out our products here

Get in touch and see what we can do for you.

Solid oak and stainless steel construction

The Benefits Of Wooden Playground Equipment

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Within this post we will looks at the advantages of using timber as the main component for playground equipment

wooden playground equipment for parks

Isn’t wooden playground equipment more susceptible to vandalism through arson?

The natural feel creates and natural and calming environment and so creates less of a target for vandalism. Wooden playground equipment is harder to mark with paint or pen as the timber absorbs the colour. Any visible paint can easily be sanded away.

Through our experience in building and designing playground equipment over the years we understand where areas of playground equipment are vulnerable to vandalism. In these areas such as underneath platforms and hidden away nooks and crannies we have engineered the surrounding wooden components to be oversized and less susceptible materials to ignition or even to make them inaccessible.

wooden climbing frame

Isn’t wooden playground equipment less durable than metal playground equipment?

We have engineered the wooden components on our playground equipment to equal or exceed the duribilty of steel painted steel playground equipment. This is done by using naturally durable timbers such as oak and robinia in sizes and thickness that will stand the test of time. To further extend the durability, wooden components of playground equipment that are in contact with the ground can be installed onto stainless steel shoes for an optional additional cost. This further reduces the risk of decay. This also means that timber members can be swapped and replaced easily potentially extending the use to a lifetime. Although we would recommend all of our wooden posts to be installed using these stainless steel shoe when used commercially, we give a 15 guarantee for all oak and robinia posts installed directly into the ground. The 15 year guarantee is a great bench mark. Often customers look to replace equipment after 15 years if possible

Many playground equipment suppliers only offer a very short guarantee of around 3 years for painted metal components as the paint often become chipped and faded through just from the average wear and tear of general use. Although wooden playground equipment greys over time this is often viewed as an advantage as the playground equipment sits in harmony with its natural surrounding and has a much nicer appearance than faded and chipped paintwork.

natural wooden playground features

Isn’t chopping down trees unsustainable for the environment?

The environment is very important to us. The sustainability of our resources is key and necessary for the future of our end clients. All of timber used for our wooden playground equipment is sourced from certified FSC suppliers. Our timber is acquired from forests as close to our workshop as possible. This in turn reduces our companies CO2 footprint by reducing transportation. Metal playground equipment is not so environmentally friendly to produce as it requires far more energy to manufacture.

In addition to this, we supplement our reduced CO2 footprint by planting as many tree as possible on each playground project we design and build. We believe greener play spaces are happy, more relaxing and healthier spaces for our children to play.

We have chosen to use timbers that are naturally resilient to insect attack and decay. Through are years of experience in working with different materials, we have refined what we use through experience. We believe that the correct use of certain species of timber, means that chemical treatment is not required needed. As we all know organic products are better for both the environment and the user. This is a theory already agreed by our Scandinavian counter parts and in fact a legal requirement.

tactile wooden playground equipment

Tactile timber

The tactile nature of wooden playground equipment brings more of a sense of the natural world to children. This is a very important aspect of any playground. The less clinical and industrial feel is more inviting especially to younger children who often explore their environment with there hands. Even on cold days wooden playground equipment is warmer to the touch than metal playground equipment. This also works the opposite way on very hot days. Timber doesn’t conduct heat in the same way metal does and has huge benefits for this reason alone.

Wooden playground equipment is also a softer material to bump into and far more forgiving than steel. Bumps and bruises are inevitable in play and so anyway of reducing the potential is an obvious win.

commercial wooden playground equipment

Choosing the Right Playground Equipment

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Far from being child’s play, finding the right playground equipment can be a
difficult decision with so many different suppliers and styles of equipment to
choose from.

When choosing playground equipment, one of the first things
you’ll need to do is to find the right supplier. In order to do so, there are a
number of different factors you’ll need to consider. Start by doing some online
research once you have narrowed down your potential list of suppliers, looking
at previous customer reviews. By looking at reviews from people who have
already used these companies you can gain a general idea of the quality of
their products, their service, and overall reputation.

There are, of course, some more general factors that you’ll
have to take into consideration in order to find the right playground equipment
to suit your needs.

Age of Intended Users

Whether you are looking to purchase playground equipment for
a school or for private use on your property, you have to keep in mind the age
of the group the equipment is intended for. While our wide range of equipment
caters to a variety of ages, not every piece of equipment will be suitable for
every age so it’s a good idea to narrow down your search to products that will
be suitable for the children who will be using it.

Choosing equipment that will appeal to a variety of ages can
be more difficult, but not impossible. In this case, investing in a
bespoke playground could be the
right choice for you.

Available Space

Another important determining factoring in choosing the
right playground equipment is the amounts of available space you have for it to
sit on. Despite what you might think, not all playground equipment requires a
lot of space, and many of our items will easily fit into a back garden.
However, knowing exactly how much available space you have will help you narrow
down your search as you can eliminate equipment that will be far too big to fit
into the designated area. Don’t forget to also take safety space into account,
as you will have to allow room for safety surfacing to protect children from
any impact, should they fall from the equipment.

Personal Preference

Personal preference should also play a part in your final
decision; both your own and that of the children who will be using the equipment.
There are many different types of playground available from monkey bars to
swings and everything in between, so it’s important that you choose one that
will be enjoyed and well-used.

The Benefits of Active Play

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Active play refers to any activity or game played by
children that requires the use of physical movements, giving children the
opportunity to develop physically, while also offering some mental development
benefits. While active play has always played a large role in the development
of young children, it is particularly important to make time for it as children
become increasingly sedentary. Not only is childhood obesity becoming a growing
concern but by spending time indoors, children can be deprived of the vital
benefits offered by active play.

Physical Benefits


The most obvious benefit of active play is that it supports
the development of both fine and gross motor skills. Through various active
games and the use of playground equipment children not only strengthen their
muscles but also improve their balance, coordination and flexibility.


Additionally, studies have proven that children who engage
in physical play and are active from a young age are likely to maintain those
levels of physical activity later in life, improving their levels of fitness
long after they have grown out of active play.

Mental Benefits


Although it is talked about less than the physical benefits
of active play, children can also learn valuable social skills and improve
their confidence as their physical abilities improve.


As school playgrounds and public areas are the most common
areas for children to engage in active play time, they become places where they
hone their social skills as they share the
playground equipment with their
peers and learn how to play together and take turns.


Active play can also improve concentration and learning,
which in turn can boost productivity and academic success. Like physical
activity in adults, getting active helps children with their emotional and
mental wellbeing, relieving stress and releasing mood-boosting endorphins.

How to Encourage
Active Play


The simplest way of encouraging physical play is by making
it fun!


Children are naturally curious, always wanting to explore
new places and learn new things so it’s important to present active play as a
reward, rather than a punishment. Often children are pushed into active play as
a break from screen time, which can make them feel like they are being punished
and paint active play in a negative light.


Some fun active play ideas include nature
treasure hunts, using a variety of different playground equipment, running
games, and obstacle courses. You can also engage children in indoor active play
activities, perfect for those rainy days or when it’s too cold to spend
extended time outdoors. Some fun active play games that can be played indoors
includes musical chairs, follow the leader, hide and seek, and even an indoor
obstacle course if you have enough space.

Why You Should Invest in a Bespoke Playground

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When it comes to playground equipment, there are endless
suppliers and different types of products to choose from, leading people to
wonder if bespoke playgrounds are worth the investment. There are a number of
reasons why we believe that you should invest in a bespoke playground including
better value for money, and the expert knowledge that bespoke playground
suppliers like the team here at Play Equip has.

bespoke playground construction

You Will Get More for
Your Money

Although bespoke playground often cost more than their
off-the-shelf counterparts, they are well worth the investment because they are
guaranteed to be suited to your specific needs. This ensures that you get
exactly what you want for your money and that all of the equipment will use the
available space in the best way possible.

In the long term, it’s better to pay more to get exactly the
type of playground that you need, rather than paying less for playground
equipment that you are not truly satisfied with.

Building bespoke playground equipment

Promotes Active Play
for All Ages

We’ve already mentioned the benefits of active play, and we truly believe
that investing in a bespoke playground is the best way to get children outdoors
and using the equipment. Having designed a wide range of bespoke playgrounds
and outdoor fitness equipment, we have the expert knowledge to create a
playground that will be fun, engaging, and promote active play for either a
specific age group or design a public playground aimed at a wider range of
ages.

Custom playgrounds for parks

Why Choose Play Equip
for Your Bespoke Playground

To guarantee the safety of your bespoke playground, all of
our designer and builders are familiar with EN 1176, the European Playground
Equipment Standards. This ensures that no matter how you want your bespoke
playground to look, all of the equipment will be safe for children to use.

Another reason to invest in a bespoke playground created by
us is that we use natural materials wherever possible to create beautiful
equipment that will last for years to come without the unnecessary use of
chemicals. To achieve this, we use oak and larch timber as both wood types are
naturally resilient to rot, which means that they do not require chemical
treatments. This not only makes our bespoke playgrounds more
environmentally-friendly but also makes them safer for children to use.

To find out how you could benefit from one of our bespoke playgrounds, get in
touch
with our friendly team today.