Important Considerations When Setting Up a Preschool Playground
Importance of Play
The preschool age is a fun and exciting time in a child's life. This stage is not only filled with discovering, learning, and exploring but there also involves an abundance of learning through play. Preschoolers must be able to exercise both their fine motor skills such as grabbing, writing as well as their large motor skills which including running and jumping.
Of course, there are items indoors that preschoolers can use to learn; however, they need to be able to go outdoors to explore the world around them. Going outside to play not only is an excellent form of exercise but it is a terrific way to make learning both educational and fun. Setting up a playground is ideal but it must be setup properly before it can be used. A playground needs to have age-appropriate equipment, and it must be safe for children.
Even though toys may visually appear to be fun, this does not mean that they are suitable for all children. Preschoolers need to have playground equipment that is custom to their ages and developmental stages. The equipment cannot be too high or the child could fall and injury themselves. This would be a tremendously hazardous condition.
For this age group, the equipment needs to be large enough for them to climb but not so tall that it is unsafe. The equipment should allow the preschoolers to crawl, jump, and climb. The preschoolers should be able to place their hands around parts of the equipment with ease. They should be able to have different levels, ladders, smooth surfaces and be able to explore and have a fun outdoor adventure.
- Flooring- a playground must have soft flooring. There are many options to choose from such as wood chips, recycled tires or sponges.
- Exterior- the playground should have some type of exterior around it so that it can be a designated play area. Good examples of exteriors can be fence or a material than can go directly around the perimeter of the playground. This can include wood or soft material than can cause a good traction.
- Edges- make sure there are no sharp objects on the equipment. Children can hurt themselves if they were to get poked by a sharp object or if they were to fall on the object.
- Caution- think about anything that could possible be an issue and correct it. Is there enough padding? Is the playground large enough? Are they any sharp edges on any of the equipment? Is the playground sectioned off and away from other outdoor equipment? Is everything age-appropriate? Is everything safe?
Preschool Playground Is Fun!
A preschool playground can be tons of fun. Not only will the child learn, but they will be interested in returning again and again for more excitement. Playing in a playground not only helps the preschooler to develop physically, but it can also help them emotionally. They are able to interact with one another and engage in physical activity.
Setting up a preschool playground is a very tedious task. This task must not be taken lightly, and research should be conducted to ensure proper setup and installation. Not only do the preschoolers want to play in their new playground, but also they want to know that they are out of harms way.
- About.com: Playground Safety for Preschoolers