See Saw

Written by Mary Martin
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The see saw is a traditional playground toy that has stood the test of time. Generations of youngsters have enjoyed its up-and-down fun, and 21st-century kids are no exception. Children of all ages--and sometimes even adults--make a beeline for this playground equipment as soon as they arrive at the park.

Not only is it fun, it provides an excellent opportunity for children to practice cooperation. It requires finding a partner to play with and then working with that partner to operate the equipment. Because effective operation of this toy requires two people of similar weight, it even supplies a practical lesson in basic physics.

Safety on the See Saw

The Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) Handbook for Public Playground Safety recommends that the see saw, like any playground equipment, be placed on a surface if at least 12 inches of appropriate loose material, such as mulch or wood chips. The CPSC also recommends that stationary equipment have a 6-foot use zone in all directions. Children waiting their turn should stand back from the equipment when it's in use.

As mentioned above, children of approximately the same weight should use this piece of playground equipment. They should face forward and hold on firmly with both hands. And when it's time to get off, they should return to a neutral position and get off together.


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