Historic Playground Equipment: Giant Stride

Playgrounds of yore were much more adventuresome.  Swing sets, slides, and monkey bars were much higher, and some would argue more dangerous.

Giant Stride with a Giant Swing Set and a Large Monkey Bar Configuration in the Background

Others argue that the newer playgrounds present fewer challenges.  And that is not a good thing.  Be that as it may, we live in litigious society so we tend to err on the side of almost complete safety.  One piece of historic playground equipment that has almost disappeared is the giant stride.  It is a sort of maypole that children swing around.

A Witches Hat is Configured Much Like a Giant Stride

A permutation of the giant stride is the witches hat.  It replaces the individual hookups with a giant doughnut.  Below is a modern version of the giant stride.

Modern Version of the Giant Stride

A historic giant stride was installed at a mission school on the northern Navajo Nation, Sweetwater Chapter.  After it was taken out, the school leadership gave what parts remained to our organization “Playgrounds Everywhere.”

The Rotating Top Configuration for One Variety of an Old-fashioned Giant Stride

The only historic illustration that I could find of a similar top to a giant stride is shown below.  I’m not sure how we will restore the stride and make it safe, but we are going to give it a try.  A Springville UT welder has already made repairs to the rotating mechanism and arms.

One Configuration of an Historic Giant Stride

Perhaps the best design for my stride is shown below.

Modern Version of the Stride Using Monkey Rings

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