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All in a spin about roundabouts…

Benefits of Roundabouts

The history of the playground roundabout may be unclear, but its status as a playground classic cannot be denied.

There’s no way to spin this – playgrounds simply wouldn’t be the same without them!

Roundabouts are found in many different forms in modern playgrounds. These range from the traditional looking ‘merry-go-round’ to more innovative designs, such as open-topped dishes and specially designed wheelchair-accessible roundabouts, both of which allow children of all abilities to play together. 

But whatever the design, why exactly are these serious spinners so popular? Children love the timeless, thrilling sensations of fun and speed that they provide, but they also offer up a range of other benefits, many with the propensity to transform children’s life experiences. 

Understanding Risk

Play is instrumental in helping children develop essential life skills, and one of the most important is the ability to assess risk. Having not yet developed the stifling inhibitions that affect adults, children are by definition much more adventurous, and love to challenge themselves. The speed generated by roundabouts can help them to understand an acceptable level of risk, and act accordingly – a vital cognitive skill in their formative years.


Roundabouts are fantastic for encouraging and developing teamwork and social interaction, as children are compelled to work together towards a clear purpose: going faster! By learning how to communicate effectively towards this shared goal, they develop important social skills, and build confidence in their own decisions and abilities.

Sensory benefits

From babies to toddlers, rocking and gentle spinning is often considered to have a calming, soothing effect on children across the age spectrum. As a leading play provider, we’ve worked with countless schools, including SEN and autism-dedicated schools, and heard about the importance of roundabouts as a method of both calming and stimulating children, helping them to develop their strength, and developing important coordination and strength skills.


Spinning inspires a sensory process called vestibular stimulation which encourages the body to experience and understand gravity and improve balance.


Enjoying an exhilarating spin on a roundabout can help a child develop their own vital skills whilst enjoying a big confidence boost – and this is every bit as true for less physically proficient children, or those with disabilities. That’s why every item in our roundabout range is designed to fully meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, and our designers are constantly guided by the latest developments in the fields of inclusion, disability, access and discrimination. This helps every child, whatever their physical proficiency, to participate, and reap the developmental benefits - but it also helps to foster a sense of community and empathy amongst children of all abilities, as they’re encouraged to play side by side. Learn more about our full Inclusive Play range here @ www.sutcliffeplay.co.uk

Safety & Quality

Children’s safety is of paramount importance to us. That’s why all of our roundabouts are independently tested to British and European Safety standards – all of our roundabouts are EN1176 certified.

Sutcliffe Play is the UK’s first and only employee-owned play provider. This means every colleague has a vested interest in the quality of our equipment, and we’ll always strive to uphold the very highest standards in playground manufacturing and installation. Every piece of equipment that leaves our factory in Yorkshire has been built and checked in accordance with all industry standards.

We’re proud that all our operations are independently and regularly audited to meet the ISO9001 Quality Assurance standard. We also have a dedicated Quality Manager and weekly meetings to identify and resolve any potential issues quickly.

As a founder member of the Association of Play Industries (API) you can be sure that we comply with all best practice standards.

Click here to find out more about our roundabouts and Sutcliffe Play.

Contact us if you would like help with your playspacewww.sutcliffeplay.co.uk

Our Roundabouts

We’ve developed a wide range of playground roundabouts over the years, in all shapes and sizes, some of which allow groups of children to spin together!

Below is a small selection of some of our most popular spinners:

Inclusive Scooter Roundabout

This roundabout has been designed to be invisibly inclusive without compromising on fun. The unit can accommodate a wheelchair alongside seated and standing users so that children, adults and carers can enjoy spinning whether they have a disability or not.

Functional and durable, the roundabout accommodates a wheelchair, two users in the seated positions and more standing if they wish, so that children, carers and parents can enjoy the sensation of spinning together. 

Dish Roundabout

One of our most dynamic and inclusive products, creating fast and exhilarating play for all. The dish shape combined with the rotating and rocking motion – which can be enjoyed fast or slow – makes it accessible and fun for all. We’ve designed the angle of the dish base to minimise lifting required to get in and out of the roundabout, and to make side transfer possible.

Whirlybob Roundabout

One of the newest pieces of playground equipment to our range, it is one of our more contemporary looking roundabouts. Centred around a single revolving pole, it’s designed for younger users to sit or stand around the four HPL seats. The Whirlybob encourages social and physical play as children work together to keep it spinning.

The unique looking structure is constructed using radial tubes and multi-steel core ropes to provide support and hand grips for youngsters.


Back to Back Roundabout 

Back to Back Roundabout  This sits slightly higher above the ground to make it more accessible for those wheelchair users transferring from their chairs. It was designed to offer the support of a chair with side rests and a back support for those with limited mobility. 

Inclusive Seated Roundabout

A similar design and build to our Inclusive Scooter Roundabout but with seating for four people alongside a wheelchair. For added safety these roundabouts are constructed from 18mm ‘Hexastrong’ plywood with a non-slip top surface and a non-slip pattern is etched onto the HPL outer rim. 

Emoji Discus Roundabout

This appeals to older children looking for fast and dynamic play but is also used as a meeting point, helping children to develop social skills. Like the dish roundabout, this is perfect for inclusive playgrounds as it caters to all ages and abilities with the flat platform making access in and out of the roundabout easier. 

Flywheel Roundabout

A roundabout with a central seating area that can seat six users. Lots of energy is required to push the seated users around.

With three further support or scooter bars, other users can either stand behind the seat or generate movement by using a scooting action whilst holding the bars.

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