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Types of Playground Spring Riders


Play is a crucial part of childhood development, helping children build physical, emotional and mental skills. Playground spring riders provide an opportunity for children to increase balance, coordination and social development while sparking imaginative play and creativity. A kid playing on a spring rider may pretend they’re a pirate on a ship, a cowboy riding a horse or a taxi driver in a busy city.

Below, we’ll explain what exactly playground spring riders are, the different types of spring riders, the benefits of playing on them and how to incorporate them into an existing or new playground.

Little girl on bumble bee spring rider

What Are Spring Riders?

Playground spring riders are a traditional playground component to introduce motion into playtime, adding an engaging, thrilling element to any playground. This playground feature includes an industrial-strength metal spring that lets children rock, bounce and bob. While many spring riders are meant for children ages 2 to 5, children up to age 12 can play on some modern models, too.

A playground spring rider must be able to withstand years of heavy play yet still be flexible and light enough for a small child to rock back and forth on. Therefore, this piece of equipment is made from a heavy steel spring and footrests with a lightweight but durable plastic or aluminum body.

Spring riders encourage physical, cognitive and creative development. By using motion-based playground equipment like spring riders, kids can gain increased spatial awareness and discover the amount of force an activity requires. Spring riders are an excellent way to help children get the recommended hour of daily physical activity, building strength and balance. Kids can even practice their social skills by sharing a two-person spring rider, using two spring riders located close together or taking turns on a single-person rider.

Ground-level components like spring riders can also help a playground meet ADA accessible regulations and more inclusive. Children access ground-level and elevated playground components differently. For example, play components that children access via a raised platform or deck are considered to be elevated playground equipment.

A playground must have a certain number of ground-level components to be ADA-compliant and accessible to most children. Some children with mobility devices like wheelchairs or crutches, for instance, may choose to play on ground-level features. The ADA requires at least one of each type of ground-level component to be along the accessible path throughout the play area. Because a spring rocker is ground-level, it can help a playground satisfy this requirement.

A playground spring rider can also spark creativity about animals, vehicles and more. Playing on a bumblebee playground spring rider can open an opportunity for a child to learn more about how bees pollinate flowers and make honey. Or, a child who plays on a boat spring rider may want to learn about actual historical voyages.

Child on boat spring rider

Playground Spring Rider Types

Spring riders are available in various shapes and colors to get kids excited and ready to play. Whether children want to pretend they are soaring through the sky on the back of a ladybug or going for a cruise in an engine-red car, we have the perfect spring rider to fill their hearts with joy and set their imaginations free. Below are the types of spring riders we offer.

  1. Animal Spring Riders
  2. Train Spring Riders
  3. Motorcycle & Sidecar Spring Riders
  4. Car Spring Riders
  5. Airplane Spring Riders
  6. Boat Spring Rider
  7. Benefits of Spring Riders
  8. Update An Existing Playground with Spring Riders
  9. Design a New Playground with Spring Riders

1. Animal Spring Riders

We offer several types of fun and imaginative animal and bug spring riders. Our spring riders are made of sturdy, long-lasting plastic and steel, and are ADA-compliant. Easy to hop on and ride with footholds and handles, Playworld spring riders are comfortable for children ages 2 to 5. Some of our spring riders are suitable for children up to age 12.

We offer:

  • Cow: Our Cow Spring Rider provides auditory stimulation with realistic cow sounds and music kids can enjoy while riding. Young ones can pretend they are on a farm and exploring the fields while going for a cow ride!
  • Horse: What child does not want to pretend they are galloping through open fields on horseback for a heroic mission? Our Horse Spring Rider neighs like a real horse to enhance the experience.

  • Spring Mates® Duck: This vibrant yellow duck provides the perfect opportunity for kids to explore imaginary ponds and creeks as a duck, opening up opportunities for new learning experiences. Maybe a child will wonder how ducks swim or where ducks go when they fly away. The Spring Mates Duck is great for starting a conversation about nature and animals. Plus, kids up to age 12 with a range of abilities can ride this duck. Children will strengthen their core muscles and build motor skills as they bounce or rock, pretending to navigate a country pond or take their wings to the sky.
  • Bumblebee: Kids will love to pretend they are jumping from flower to flower on the back of a giant, friendly bee. Or, perhaps they can pretend they shrunk down in size and everything in the world is enormous. No matter where their imagination lands, our Bumblebee Spring Rider’s lifelike buzzing sounds are sure to get kids smiling. After all, where else can they ride the back of a bumblebee?
  • Spring Mates® Pony: Introduce children to the world of ponies on these adorable playground classics. Children can pretend they are caring for a pony of their own. They can enjoy going for a ride through grassy fields or pretending to play games with other ponies. The Spring Mates Pony is also suitable for children up to age 12.
  • Ladybug: Kids will develop a love for bugs on this friendly, happy ladybug. On our Ladybug Spring Rider, kids get to hold onto the ladybug’s antennae, pretending to land on leaves or explore hidden insect-sized worlds from the back of a bright red bug.
  • Spring Mates® Turtle: This bright green turtle is an inviting companion for a ride in the forest or a swim in the sea. Kids can think about reptiles and different underwater life forms as they have fun developing balancing skills. The world is a cheerful place when sitting on the shell of a super-cute turtle spring rider.
  • Spring Mates Chipmunk: Chipmunks are adorable tiny critters that often move too quickly to spot in nature. With this Spring Mates Chipmunk, kids get to hop on the back of this elusive creature to pretend like they’re sprinting through the woods or helping the chipmunk stockpile acorns.

Children love animals, but some children may not have the opportunity to see real animals regularly. Animal spring riders bring a touch of nature to any playground, giving children of various skill levels and abilities a chance to unleash their imagination while soaring, galloping or scurrying on the back of a friendly critter.

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2. Train Spring Riders

Some children jump for joy at the sight and sound of a choo-choo train. Our Train Spring Riders are available in different colors, and may or may not include sound, depending on your preference. They are complete with a handlebar to grip and “steer” the train, and decorative wheels to add to the overall look. With a Train Spring Rider, it is easy to hop aboard for hours of fun.

Kids riding a Train Spring Rider can pretend they are dashing over a curvy mountain in a hurry to transport important cargo. Or, they can take turns playing the role of a conductor and provide train-ride commentary for passengers to enjoy. They might even see an obstacle on the tracks up ahead and have to save the day!

3. Motorcycle and Sidecar Spring Riders

Kids can explore the “open road” on an adventurous Sidewinder Cycle. With handles to grip onto and a comfortable back and footrests, kids can spend hours on a vibrant yellow bike, pretending to pop a wheelie, shoot off a ramp or zoom through an obstacle course. Some little ones might prefer to cruise imaginary back roads and soak up the scenery.

We also offer a Sidewinder Cycle with Sidecar. Kids will be thrilled to go on a motorcycle ride together. This safe spring rider can hold two riders — one on the larger bike and one in the sidecar. Both pieces are attached to their own coil, and offer handles to hold onto for a secure trip. What could be more fun than an adventure with a buddy?

4. Car Spring Riders

Kids will enjoy hopping in a bright red car to go for a ride, run errands or head to work, just like Mom or Dad. In a Car Spring Rider, children can honk the horn or rev the engine like in a real car. Also, they can also grip the handlebar and pretend they are behind the wheel.

Our Car Spring Riders fit two smaller children at a time, so one can play the role of the passenger while the other one drives. Kids can take a road trip anywhere they desire, or they can have fun playing house or taxi driver. They can race in a chase or take the car to a shop while the other one fixes a flat tire — there is no limit to what kids can imagine in a playground car!

5. Airplane Spring Riders

Airplanes can lift a child up and beyond the imagination. Available in a variety of bright, stimulating colors, our Airplane Spring Riders are comfortable to sit in like our Train and Car Spring Riders, complete with a backrest, footrest and handlebar. With a textured surface and wing-shaped sides, children will look forward to polishing their plane and getting ready for takeoff.

Kids can play the role of pilot and instruct passengers to buckle their seatbelts as they soar over mountains, land and sea. Perhaps they need to parachute from the plane or land safely on a mysterious tropical island. Or, maybe their aircraft is so high-tech they can take it all the way to the moon!

6. Boat Spring Rider

We’ve covered land and sky, but what about water as a means of transportation? Our Boat Spring Rider will make a young captain’s heart sing. These vibrant, realistic-sounding boats bring the sea to the child. They can rock back and forth in the motion of the ocean’s waves, or quickly try to row their way to land in the midst of a storm.

Kids can pretend to be captains on a hunt to catch the biggest shark, or pirates searching for a lost treasure. Perhaps they have found a magical new land ahead, and like great explorers of the past, decide to start a new civilization. A boat is a great way to live out history or explore the possibilities of the deep and mysterious ocean.

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Benefits of Playground Spring Riders

There are many wonderful benefits to incorporating spring riders into your new or existing playground. Spring riders encourage healthy play and the development of essential social, mental and physical skills.

Whether a child prefers to fly a plane or ride on the back of a chipmunk, they will develop muscular strength and experience sensory stimulation on a spring rider, along with a number of other benefits.

1. Mental Development

When a child uses their imagination to play, they are developing vital mental skills, such as:

  • Creative thinking skills: Imaginative play develops a child’s creative thinking and decision-making skills as they determine their next adventure and the people and places they will encounter in an imaginary world.
  • Problem-solving skills: Children develop problem-solving skills as they pretend ordinary objects are something else to fit the needs of their imaginary world. As they play, children also need to come up with solutions to imaginary problems. For example, if they are riding on a bumblebee spring rider while pretending a bear is chasing them, they will need to decide where they will hide from the bear. What will they do if the bear finds them? Imaginative play encourages finding solutions.
  • Language skills: Imaginary play helps develop language skills as a child acts out a story, communicates with other children or pretends to be a parent, teacher or another adult figure. They explore words and their meanings, using them to fit their role.
  • Emotional skills: When a child uses their imagination during play, they get the opportunity to safely explore and act out their thoughts and emotions to help them process the world around them. As a result, they gain a deeper understanding of their feelings. A child can also develop empathy by pretending to be someone else and experiencing life from a different perspective.

2. Physical Development

Spring riders encourage children to get up and move because they make physical activity easy, fun and part of imaginative play. Spring riders help children:

  • Develop balance and coordination: When children sit on a spring rider, they learn to keep their bodies balanced, so they don’t fall off. They also learn to use different body parts simultaneously, developing coordination skills. For example, perhaps a child is pretending to wave from their sidecar while rocking back and forth. A spring rider gives them the opportunity to keep their balance by shifting their weight while waving.
  • Develop core muscles: The core consists of the pelvis, back, hips and abdomen muscles. A strong core is vital for balance and stability, and riding a spring rider requires core muscles. A child will use core muscles to stay balanced on the rider while pushing it front to back, side to side or bounce up and down. Developing these muscles is important for carrying out daily activities in childhood and adulthood.

Spring riders also encourage children to engage in physical play after they ride, as they continue to imagine new worlds and situations. Physical activity promotes heart health, boosts confidence and raises happiness levels. Exercise also reduces stress and helps children maintain a healthy weight.

3. Social Development

Spring riders can spark play between kids and keep them happily playing for hours. When children engage in unstructured play with one another, they get the opportunity to develop critical social skills they will use for life. Spring riders encourage:

  • Sharing: Kids learn to take turns on a spring rider. They learn to recognize fairness and develop their sense of what is fair. They also learn to negotiate, and they may develop leadership skills as they help other children make decisions.

  • Playing together: Some spring riders, like the Sidewinder Cycle with Sidecar, allow children to play together on the rider. Collaborative play helps children develop communication skills by creating stories together and acting out different roles. They also learn to consider other children’s feelings as they communicate in a way that promotes fun and safety.

Playing with other children teaches a child to think outside themselves, to see and consider multiple points of view and respect other children so they can play, laugh and have a great time on the playground together. These skills are ones that they will need for the rest of their lives and will continue to build upon as they grow.

Adding Spring Riders to a Current Playground

Spring riders are easy to install, and two adults can often complete the installation. If you feel you need assistance installing you’re a new spring rider, do not hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable Play Experts to answer any questions or help you find the solution you need.

Because spring riders do not take up too much space, are easy to install and are available in a variety of characters, shapes or colors, they can smoothly incorporate into any existing playground design.

Including Spring Riders in a Design for a New Playground

If you are designing a playground, remember to include spring riders. Spring riders make the perfect addition to an inclusive playground. They also provide a rich sensory experience, perfect for promoting child development. When choosing a spring rider for an inclusive playground, look for one with back support.

Many of our spring riders make sounds or play music, which stimulates auditory senses, and they are all available in bright, visually stimulating colors. Their surfaces may be textured, smooth and rounded, creating a varied tactile experience.

Our play experts can help you decide the best spot for spring riders on your playground. They will also help you ensure there is enough distance from other playground equipment and adequate space around the riders for kids to hop on or off quickly and safely.

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Contact Playworld Today for Help With Playground Design

Free, unstructured playtime is an endangered resource today — and we’re on a mission to change that by bringing play back. Join us by introducing classic spring rider playground equipment to your community in a new, innovative way. It is one of the best and most fun ways to help kids develop their senses naturally!

Partner with one of our play experts, and you will get a safe play area that encourages development. You can include spring riders alongside systems and structures that enhance climbing skills, provide opportunities for imaginative play and more. Durable coil spring playground toys feature bold colors, fun sounds and even options that accommodate multiple riders — you get it all, and then some.

Ready to bring play back but not sure how to start? Our play experts are here to help! We can help you design an inclusive play space that serves the needs of children and caregivers of all abilities. Best of all, they’re fun! Browse our products, request a quote or contact a play expert for more information today!