Experts consider five categories of developmental milestones when observing young children at play: cognitive, communicative, social-emotional, adaptive, and physical. In each of these areas, there are specific abilities children demonstrate when they master a skill. A preschool playground can provide many great ways for children to develop these skills while engaging in fun, active play.
That's why playground equipment for preschools, churches, and daycare centers is essential. Read on and learn five types of preschool playground equipment designed to enhance a child's development in each of these key areas.
1. From Sitting to Standing
One of the essential physical development milestones for a young child is gross motor skills. Gross motor skills describe physical activities that incorporate the entire body like standing, walking, running, or jumping.
GameTime’s Tot’s Gathering Pod is ideal for helping preschool children develop these skills. Designed at the right height for children to pull up to a standing position, it helps young walkers maintain balance as they walk or climb around the exterior. It features smooth edges and a visually interesting shape that's just right for a toddler playground.
GameTime’s Tot’s Gathering Pod
2. Twist and Turn
Another area of childhood development is fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the ability to use muscles in the fingers, hands, and wrists to make movements.
Two of GameTime's TotStuff products that help children develop fine motor skills are Tot’s ThunderRing and Tot’s Gizmos. They include wheels, buttons, and knobs that are fun to move and manipulate. These playful actions help children develop the mind to muscle coordination required for more complex tasks such as using a pencil.
3. Crawling and Climbing on a Preschool Playground
While it may seem like playtime is all about physical skill development, preschool playgrounds enhance cognitive skills, too. One of those skills is called “crossing the midline,” or engaging both right and left hemispheres of the brain.
One of the ways children develop this skill is through crawling and climbing. Crawling and climbing require coordination on both sides of the body. You can add play equipment like Tot’s Crawl Tube and Tot’s Stratus Climber to promote this skill among preschoolers.
GameTime’s Tot’s Stratus Climber
4. Social Development
One unexpected benefit of playground slides is their role in helping children develop important social skills. Sliding on a slide involves taking turns and learning how to be patient. This is a key skill a child needs once they reach primary school.
Slides are also a lot of fun and helpful with physical development too. Children experience movement, enhance their balance, and engage their core all while sliding.
GameTime’s ECHO and TotStuff play systems include age-appropriate slides that are the right size for preschoolers. Like all the play components on these systems, the slides are constructed of durable, high-quality materials that last for years.
5. Cool Things Off With Playground Shade
Children love to play outside, and being outdoors provides many benefits. It’s important to provide shaded areas to protect children’s sensitive skin from harmful UV rays. Include freestanding shade structures to keep your preschool play areas cooler and more comfortable and block up to 97% of the sun’s ultraviolet light.
Play Prepares Kids for Life
Preschool playgrounds are fun ways to promote physical activity in children. They provide a place for children to develop their social skills, learn teamwork, and experience new ways to explore the world around them. With the right preschool playground equipment, you can help children reach essential developmental milestones and prepare them for the rest of their life.
To learn more about the importance of preschool play and select the right equipment for your playground, contact the GameTime Canada play expert in your community.