Calgary has a ton of great playgrounds with lots of different kinds of features. Of the 33 playgrounds I reviewed last summer, I’ve made a list of my favorite playground features for little kids and for big kids.
For Little Kids
1. The Merry-go-round Spinner at Bridgeland Community Centre Playground.
There are a couple of things that combine to make this spinner great. There is a cut out in the rope to make it easy for kids to get inside the spinner. The base is solid rather than rope. This makes it so kids who may not be able to hang on by themselves can spin safely.
The ramps are on the major play structure and allow children of all abilities to get to a fun but safe height. There are lots of slides, panels and steering wheels that can be accessed without little ones getting in over their heads.
3. The spinner at Forest Heights 3rd Avenue Playground.
This looks like it would more for older kids and I’m sure they would have fun too but my friend’s two toddlers had a blast spinning each other around on this spinner. It was absolutely their favorite item there.
There is something about tunnels that kids just seem to love. I haven’t seen to many in Calgary so far. This one is part of a well done play structure that Gordie had a lot of fun with.
This is so perfect for siblings. I especially love how the older child gets to be a ‘big kid’ but the younger child still gets to be part of the fun.
This slide not only has a cute elephant theme, but it’s a tunnel and slide in one. How can you beat that?
For Big Kids
I didn’t get a great picture of these spinners at Utah Park but you can see a red one and a green one at the top right of the first picture. I really like them in that park because they are set up in a line like spinning monkey bars. The second picture is taken from Green Park (Briar Hill)
Climbing walls are fun and they provide a different challenge from your classic bar climbing features. This one is nice because it gives you the feel that you are climbing a wall of rock too.
Kids love being to be able to walk around up high. This structure allows you do to with in a complete circle while going over different styled of bridges. In addition it is themed like a fort providing opportunities for pretend play.
Playground will often say they are for ages 5-12 but frequently there isn’t much that older children haven’t done a million times before. This spinner is definitely an exception. You have to have some height even to grab on to it and so far I haven’t seen another one like it.
This balance beam provides a novel twist on an old favorite. It encourages group play and a challenge for older children when they walk on it, but can also be accessed by younger children if they lean, sit or crawl on it.
This was one of my personal favorites from this summer. It actually kind of reminds me of some kind of gym equipment but I found it pretty entertaining.
I really tried to get a good picture of the merry-go-round at this playground but it was so popular I wasn’t able to get a picture of it without a ton of kids on it. Even in the picture above there are four kids on the merry-go-round and none anywhere else. I think that says it all.
What is your favorite playground equipment? Do you have a suggestion for a playground I should review? Write a comment below or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dana is a mom of a 1.5 year old boy. She spends her free time reviewing playgrounds and other play spaces over at Calgary Playgrounds Review.