Early childhood is a crucial time during our development, and all children should be given the opportunity to play, exercise, and learn during such a critical time in their young lives. It’s our responsibility as adults to give them the best opportunities to grow. And this includes promoting active and healthy lifestyles and steering them away from bad habits such as excessive screen time. Too much time on devices can lead to sedentary lifestyles and poor development for young children. A child that doesn’t develop at the same speed as others could be left behind by their peers, which can result in poor performance in school, sports, and social activities.
The best way to do this is to give them plenty of means to have fun and encourage active playtime outside. This is where ECD outdoor play equipment comes in, like jungle gyms, playgrounds, sandpits, swings, and more. These are typical components of crèche outdoor play equipment, and each one plays a part in assisting in a child’s early development. Let’s take a look at how they help the little ones.
They develop gross motor skills
At this stage in a child’s development, physical activity is the best way to develop their gross motor skills, like climbing, running, swinging, etc. The major muscle groups are used to perform these actions, and with outdoor play equipment for toddlers, many different muscles are used that will ultimately help improve coordination and balance. Excellent examples of equipment that assist in gross motor development include swings, climbing frames, tunnels, monkey bars, and slides.
They hone fine motor skills
While gross motor skills target the major muscle groups, fine motor skills target the small muscles used to facilitate complex and intricate movements. Everything from grasping something to writing involves fine motor skills and it’s important that children develop these skills so as to not have trouble coordinating and completing basic tasks. Everything on the playground helps to hone these skills, like when climbing on monkey bars, gripping the chains on the swings, pulling themselves up the rope on a ramp, or climbing the rungs of a climbing frame. Rockers and sand pits are other areas where they can practice these skills, as sandpits allow them to use their hands to build and play with toys. These are just a few examples of intricate muscle movements in the hands, arms, feet, and legs.
They build muscle mass and keep active
As they’re developing their fine and gross motor skills, playtime outside also builds up those all-important muscles, improving their coordination, balance, and building up strength. Developed muscles keep them fit and healthy, and by encouraging play children can keep up with the development level of their peers and avoid needing things like physiotherapy later on.
Building up their muscle mass and keeping physically active also allows them to burn excess energy, which allows for deeper rest and better concentration when learning. Just as importantly, keeping physically active helps them maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness, something they don’t often achieve with too much screen time.
They improve cognitive skills and problem-solving skills
During their time on the playground, all of a child’s senses are harnessed and put to good use. The brain correlates movement to senses, and the stimuli help to develop those all-important cognitive skills. When kids use a slide, the rapid descent presents them with a broad range of sensations, sights, and sounds that get sent to the brain.
And on the playground children have to learn to problem-solve and navigate as they climb and traverse over obstacles. Once they’ve climbed a jungle gym, they have to get down on their own, or as they’re climbing they need to discern where next to find a hand or foothold to continue their journey safely. They may have a few hitches along the way, but they’re always learning and developing their problem-solving skills as they go.
Just as importantly, the playground is a place for children to play together! This development includes social skills, and there’s no better way to learn than by socializing with others, making friends, learning proper etiquette, and playing games together.
Give Toddlers the Best Opportunities to Grow and Play with ECD Outdoor Play Equipment
Looking to expand the playground for your little ones? Educators, carers, and parents can invest in outdoor playground equipment for toddlers to expand their offerings for the little ones, giving them plenty of opportunities to play, grow, and learn. At Kidbuddie, we craft a number of jungle gyms and playground equipment of varying styles and sizes. Our toddler playground range is perfect for parks, back yards, crèches, restaurants, and schools, designed and built with safety in mind. Enquire with us to find out more.