Toddlers and preschoolers need play for their physical, social and intellectual development. This is why play equipment that is size and age appropriate is invaluable to the growth of our children and our futures. Play equipment designed for under-fives is built with these growth factors in mind. It encourages physical movement for exercise and development of hand-eye coordination, and it encourages curiosity, learning and social interaction. Here we’ll look at five playground features that helps young children grow.
1. Sand & Water Play
You aim in creating a playground appropriate for preschoolers and toddlers is to create high play motivation. Only by enticing these kids to play will they be motivated to engage with the playground and thus develop creatively, cognitively and physically. And there’s nothing like a sandpit to invite children in to play. Today’s sand play features include much more than just sand in a pit with buckets and spades, they introduce structures, tools and objects that increase engagement and creativity. Often, sand is coupled with water play with the addition of fountains and structures that move sand and water.
2. Play Houses
Play houses have always been a humble staple of the playground, yet it’s important to be aware of how small under-fives truly are compared to the other kids. This is why size and age appropriate structures are built for smaller children’s play. Play Houses can be simple and classic or they can include interactive features such as sliding objects, windows and shape slots. However the true value of a playhouse for early childhood development is the social interaction that it invites. In this space children gain spatial awareness as well as the beginnings of social skills as they engage in communication, cooperation and role play.
3. Manipulative Play Panels
Like play houses, these playground features encourage awareness of other children and cooperation, as well as cognitive exploration and development. They can be simple or complex, ranging from one-dimensional vertical structures such as elephants or giraffes, to more elaborate constructions such as castles and carriages. Manipulation structures can include things like slots to push shapes through, tubes and steering wheels. Manipulation play aids in perception as well as the development of preschoolers language skills as they slowly learn to express themselves through the spoken word.
4. Sound Play
Sound play is one of the newer features of children’s playgrounds with high play motivation. The creation of sounds and music inspires young children’s imaginations, aiding their creative development and sensory perception. Sound play introduces children to the concept of music with instruments like music panels, xylophones and drums. Sound play is the perfect addition to daycare playground equipment.
5. Springer & Seesaws
The physical aspect of play is all important in this modern world where exciting gadgets and electronic devices compete our kids’ attention. Springers and seesaws have high play motivation, can be built in colourful exciting designs, and encourage physical development of motor skills and social interaction. The social aspect of these designs invites children to cooperate and share in an experience, while they learn to communicate while they play. Include this playground feature into your commercial playgrounds and give young children a space to grow.