We Speak Playground

Common Playground Terms

Posted by May Recreation Content Team on December 14, 2021

You and your colleagues are planning to build a new playground, but it’s been a long time since you’ve played at one yourself. Chances are that you may have forgotten some terms for equipment and situations at playgrounds. Or, you may have lost track of what kinds of equipment is typically installed at playgrounds, and you want to make sure that you have a good list from which to choose.

No worries! At May Recreation, we specialize in playgrounds and would like to present these common playground terms to you today to help you in your preparation.

Terms for Equipment Commonly Used in Playgrounds

These are the most common playground terms you’ll run into when setting up a place for children to gather and have fun:


Kids jump on the merry-go-round and push themselves against the ground to build up speed. You may hear these referred to as carousels or roundabouts. However you call them, merry-go-rounds are time-honored equipment that kids can’t get enough of. They can serve as a focal point and main attraction for your playground.

Monkey Bars

They’re simple metal ladders held horizontally above the ground with metal poles. Kids swarm on the monkey bars to swing from one bar to the next, just like a monkey in the jungle. They give youngsters a great sense of freedom as they propel themselves along.

Playground Climbers

A wide range of playground climbers are available for kids to build up some muscle on while playing. Many people are familiar with the geodesic dome-shaped climbers, made out of metal triangles in a very stable and strong structure envisioned by science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. Configurations include vine climbers, rocks, and walker climbers. Contact us for details.


Slides are typically constructed out of strong and sturdy plastic now instead of metal like they were in days past. Kids wait in line to climb the ladder and then whiz down, excited to run back and do it all again. 


Spinners do what their name implies, keep kids rotating quickly for the thrill of their lives. But they’re not just for amusement. The sensory experience of touching the sides and keeping their balance make them great childhood development equipment too.

Spring Riders

With spring riders, which are made in shapes like rockets or animals, kids ride on them, bouncing around in place for a wild and exhilarating time. They can play a major role in setting the theme of your playground.

Still Rings

A staple of gymnastics still rings hang from chains. Kids improve their upper body strength as they hang on to the rings. They give a different kind of exercise than what you have when swinging from rung to rung on the monkey bars, but supporting your body weight is the same in both types of equipment.vika-strawberrika-dGwLxzFuGZo-unsplash


Who doesn’t love playing on swings? A swing set lets you feel like you are defying gravity, flying back and forth. If you plan to attract families to your playground, consider adding a generation swing, which allows grandparents or parents to sit on the swing with a young one to share the ride.


Sometimes called a seesaw, teeter-totters are very popular at playgrounds, and for a good reason. Make sure you order a teeter-totter built with safety in mind, that includes a spring at the center to avoid a bad landing if one player happens to fall off.

Do You Have Questions About Playground Equipment or Building a Playground?

Once you have a better idea of the amount and types of playground equipment you would like to install, you’ll need to figure out how to configure and space everything. 

At May Recreation, we’ve helped countless communities with their new parks, and we would be happy to share our knowledge and experience with you. For help selecting playground equipment or assistance in any other aspect of playground planning and development, connect with us today. 

Topics: Custom Playground Playground Design & Planning

May Recreation Equipment & Design is a top supplier of playground equipment, shelters, playground safety surfacing, splash pads, site amenities, and related products in East Texas. Our goal is to work closely with you to ensure your project completes

  • On Time
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  • Beyond Your Expectations

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