The first outdoor gymnasium was set up in 1821. It was constructed at the Latin School in Salem, Massachusetts. The playground equipment consisted of vaulting horses and parallel bars. However, the popularity of these outdoor gyms faded quickly during the industrial revolution of the 19th century, when there was a renewed need for child-specific spaces.

Sand Gardens

The idea for supervised playgrounds materialized in Germany to keep children from playing on the roadways. The playgrounds were sand mounds with cops watching over the kids. In 1885, a German lady named Dr. Marie E. Zakrzewska brought this concept to Boston. The Boston Sand Gardens were the country’s first supervised playground.

The first playground equipment was constructed of galvanized steel with a plain climbing ladder type. In the 1940s and into the 50s, free play was advancing into its own with terrain adventure playgrounds. According to the historical records, the Germans were the first to provide distinct play space. These playfields were known as “Sand Gardens” to get children off the roads where play was becoming dangerous.

Playgrounds: The 1880s

The first playground was opened in 1885 by Sir Frances Galton on London’sLondon’s Battersea Bridge Road. For the youngsters of south London, there were swings, climbing bars, and horse riders. This became the paradigm for municipal playgrounds throughout the United Kingdom.

New York, 1901

The Playground Association of America was founded in 1901 to help children growing up in tenements. An early initiative by this group was the construction of a playground on the roof of Ellis Island’sIsland’s hospital center for immigrants and refugees. In 1911, William Dickson Boylan Junior High School established the first playground in an American primary school.

The Growing Popularity Of Swing Sets Post World War II

During the Great Depression, when Americans struggled financially, children had little to do, and playgrounds were rare. Following WWII, however, there was a noticeable rise in the number of swing sets accessible to children.

Final Thoughts

Playground equipment became additionally standardized with no sharp edges and plastics being used. By the 90s, we see the ultra-modern age of playground equipment with safety veritably on the significance list. 

All Play, Inc. is a commercial playground company. The company specializes in building premium playgrounds and play spaces with features that kids love and satisfy their parents.



  • What is the best playground equipment?

The best playground equipment is commercial playground equipment. It’sIt’s generally found at public parks, daycares, and schools. It’sIt’s generally made from heavy-duty materials. It’sIt’s better for them to be IPEMA certified and adhere to the safety norms of ASTM.

  • What should a playground have?

Determining what a kids outdoor playground should have will highly depend on the age group it is catering to. For example, swing sets, slides, bouncers, playhouses, and hurdles are good if your playground is designed for older kids. However, if it is for toddlers, you will need to add a lot simpler and safer equipment.

  • What are the benefits of a playground?

Playgrounds help develop a child’s physical, mental, social, and psychological well-being.

  • How much is a playground set?

Playground sets can usually range from 5,000-to 20,000 USD.

  • Playgrounds are for which age groups?

The playgrounds are for kids in the age group of 6-23 months, 2-5 years, and 6-12 years.




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