Playgrounds are intended to be places where children’s minds and bodies can grow while kids are outside playing and having fun. If you’re an adult who’s reading this now, you likely have some fond memories of your own experiences out on the playground back when you were young.
It’s been said that play is the basic learning language of a child, and that statement is even truer for the youngest of children – those ages 3 and under. But while there’s no better outdoor setting for children to be able to play and enjoy themselves than on a playground, there’s a problem. Precious few playgrounds are designed specifically with toddlers in mind. What would an ideal toddler play area look like? What toddler play equipment should be included? If you are in the early planning stages of developing your own commercial play area for toddlers, then you’ve come to the right page. Your friends at Carolina Recreation & Design have some helpful insights to share!
Besides meeting the necessary legal requirements for being classified as a licensed childcare center for young preschoolers, there are many other good reasons to create a toddler-specific playground. The children who have the opportunity to use your toddler play area will benefit in many ways themselves. These benefits include physical development, cognitive development, emotional development, and social development.
Physicians and children’s health experts say that toddlers and young children should get a minimum of 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity every day. And there’s no better place for enjoying physical activity than out on the playground! Playing outdoors on some well-designed commercial play equipment allows toddlers to stretch their lungs, stretch their limbs, and get the blood pumping. Navigating a playground also allows young children to build better motor skills, balance, and overall physical coordination.
Each self-constructed play experience on an outdoor playground encourages young children to become more creative, and also helps them to gain some important problem-solving skills. With a well-designed commercial play system in place, you’ll be helping these young children to grow in terms of both mental aptitude and critical-thinking skills.
The youngest of children tend to be naturally awkward and more unsure of themselves. They’re learning how much they really don’t know yet, and they’re working hard to get everything figured out. Needless to say, this creates a certain amount of emotional stress. But out on the playground, a toddler can work to build more self-confidence and develop a healthy emotional sense of self-esteem.
Playgrounds also provide young children with the opportunity to gain some needed social skills. Playgrounds teach children the importance of working together, and help them to appreciate the value of completing a task in conjunction with their peers. Tandem outdoor play also enables children to develop and express thoughts and emotions more clearly through essential communication skills development.
How about personal ethics development? The playground is one of the first real-world scenarios where children learn about what’s fair, and what isn’t. Learning to take turns, share, and show respect to others are vital life skills for young children to gain and internalize.
And let’s don’t forget about the value of stress relief, either. Even the youngest of children need an opportunity to blow off a little steam. Outdoor playground activity allows toddlers to burn off some extra energy, and gives their caretakers a chance to exhale for a moment, as well. It’s honestly hard to put a price tag on the value of that for all parties concerned!
Let’s say you’re ready to design a toddler-friendly playground for your daycare, preschool, or other organization. Which types of equipment should you choose? How should your playground be structured? And what features should you be looking for when it comes to commercial-grade play equipment for young children? Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind:
Outdoor play can be extremely rewarding for young children, especially if you choose the right equipment for engaging young minds. In addition to choosing play features like crawlers, slides, and swings, you should plan to include equipment like activity panels which are specially designed to stimulate a young child’s mind and senses.
Elementary playgrounds or playgrounds intended for older children really aren’t the safest or best option for children ages 1 to 3. It’s better to create a play space that’s specifically designed for the youngest of children. This will better aid toddlers in their particular set of skills development needs, too.
Obviously, kids want a playground to be fun, but parents, teachers, and adults also need their children’s play facility to be SAFE above all. And the good news is that it really is possible to have the best of both worlds when you partner with Carolina Recreation & Design! We can provide you with play features that are specifically engineered to offer the support that young children need, in terms of their physical size, ability, strength, balance, coordination, and level of judgment.
From the standpoint of practicality, every daycare, preschool, or other organization needs to be able to choose play components that are built to be tough, durable, long-lasting, and need little in the way of ongoing maintenance. That’s why it’s really best to choose commercial play equipment made with the strongest materials, and also coated with materials that are able to foster both greater safety and greater product longevity.
Carolina Recreation & Design offers an amazing selection of commercial playground sets for young children – including toddlers – along with some nice, freestanding play elements which suit the needs of our youngest children. Here are just a few examples of the popular play features we have to offer:
And here’s the BEST good news – Carolina Recreation & Design doesn’t just provide quality playgrounds and outdoor recreational equipment for children of all ages. We install everything we sell too, and we can also take care of everything from site design, to site preparation, to safety surfacing, to fabric shades, outdoor seating, covered shelters, and all other essential site amenities. Need help with permitting, fencing, or landscaping? We’re also general contractors, and we can take care of those things for you as well. In a word, Carolina Recreation & Design is here to provide you with complete, turnkey solutions. When you choose to partner with us, you won’t have to worry about a thing!
Got questions? Ready to get started in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, or Tennessee? Give us a call today at (704) 664-183! You can also connect with us online here, if you prefer. Carolina Recreation & Design has all your commercial playground needs covered!
Carolina Recreation & Design is a full-service general contracting company offering turnkey installation of recreational products for parks, schools, churches, clubs, daycares and amusement parks. We offer premium-quality commercial products that are safe, fun, and built to last.