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What are the spinny things at playgrounds called?

There are two main categories of “spinny things” at playgrounds and parks: Merry-Go-Rounds and Free-Standing Spinners. Spinning playground equipment is a classic staple in many communities. Children love spinning; it comes with various health benefits like improved vestibular sense, balance, and mental health, and best of all, it’s a lot of fun!




Merry-Go-Rounds, also referred to as carousels, have been a playground favorite for generations. These circular platforms can feature a variety of seats or handles for children to hold onto while the structure rotates. The spinning motion on these rides stimulates the vestibular system, aiding in the development of a child's sense of balance and spatial orientation. There’s even a One Wheelchair Capacity Accessible Merry-Go-Round to help make playgrounds and parks more accessible and inclusive!

While Merry-Go-Rounds are a source of joy for many children, parents and caregivers need to ensure that the equipment is age-appropriate and well-maintained. Proper supervision is crucial to prevent accidents, and guidelines posted by playground authorities should be followed to ensure a safe play environment.

playground merry-go-round


Free-Standing Spinners

In addition to Merry-Go-Rounds, Free-Standing Spinners offer a different kind of spinning experience. These are standalone structures that children can grasp and spin independently. Spinners can also be attached to a custom play structure. They come in various designs, such as spinning disks, rotating platforms, or even overhead swinging ladders that twist and turn. Free-standing spinners are known for providing children with a sense of control over their spinning experience, encouraging imaginative play and social interaction.

These spinners contribute to the overall development of motor skills as children engage in pushing, pulling, and coordinating their movements to initiate and control the spin. The sensory stimulation from the spinning motion also enhances cognitive development, as children learn to adapt to changes in their surroundings.

playground spinners


In conclusion, playground spinny things like Merry-Go-Rounds and Free-Standing Spinners play a vital role in the physical, cognitive, and social development of children. When utilized in a safe and supervised manner, these playground spinners contribute not only to the joy of play but also to the overall well-being of the young children enjoying their spins at the park.


Learn about the author: Ben Thompson