September 01, 2021

Five Ways Preschool Playground Equipment Enhances Early Childhood Development

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The toddler stage is an impressionable time for a child’s development. It’s a big wide world for young children and an opportunity to grow and learn in new ways. 

When observing preschool children, experts consider five categories of developmental milestones: cognitive, communicative, social-emotional, adaptive, and physical. Each of these categories is represented by specific tasks and abilities. 

That is a lot of learning for a tiny child! Fortunately, children can achieve many of these milestones by engaging with playground equipment at a daycare, church, local park, or preschool. Read on and learn the five types of playground equipment you should include to enhance a child’s growth and development.

1. Pull Up, Stand Up

One of the essential physical development milestones for a toddler is refining their gross motor skills. Gross motor skills describe a physical activity that incorporates the entire body, such as standing, walking, running, jumping, lifting, or kicking.

GameTime’s Tot’s Gathering Pod is a perfect fit for developing these skills. The pod is the right height for children to pull up to a standing position and maintain balance as they walk or climb around the exterior. The fun shape and smooth edges are a perfect fit for any preschool playground.

GameTime’s Tot’s Gathering Pod

2. Touch, Twist, and Turn

Another important developmental milestone for a toddler is refining their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills describe the ability to use muscles in the fingers, hands, and wrists to make movements. 

GameTime’s Tot’s ThunderRing and Tot’s Gizmos are two great options that help develop fine motor skills. Wheels, buttons, and knobs are fun for toddlers to manipulate. They also help them develop the coordination between the brain and muscles to execute more complex tasks such as using a pencil.

3. Crawl, Climb and Explore a Preschool Playground

Preschool playground equipment helps children achieve many physical development milestones. It’s also excellent for assisting with cognitive development. An essential skill for toddlers is “crossing the midline,” or engaging both right and left hemispheres of the brain.

Children develop this skill through crawling and climbing. These activities require coordination on both sides of the body. GameTime’s Tot’s Crawl Tube and Tot’s Stratus Climber are two great additions to your playground to promote this level of dexterity.

GameTime’s Tot’s Stratus Climber

4. Slide Into Social Development

Slides are super fun ways for kids to play. They experience movement, enhance their balance, and engage their core all while sliding. Slides are also a great way for toddlers to refine their social/emotional skills. 

Sliding on a slide involves taking turns and exercising patience. This is a key skill a child needs once they reach kindergarten, so adding a slide to your preschool playground can give them a head start. 

GameTime’s ECHO and TotStuff play systems include age-appropriate slides that are just 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. Keep it Cool With Playground Shade

Children love to play outside, and being outdoors provides a lot of health benefits. But 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 keep young children active. They’re a great place for children to learn social skills, teamwork, and patience. With the right playground equipment, you can also help children reach important developmental milestones that 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 local GameTime play expert in your community.