Inspiration for

Early Learning

Girl looking through binoculars on a playground

Playground inspiration for Preschools & Early Learning Centres

Children grow rapidly during their time in preschools and early learning centres, and it can be a thrilling challenge to keep up with their development! A top-notch playground serves as not only an enjoyable space for children but also a catalyst for their physical and cognitive growth. Through play, children acquire the vital social skills needed for the next stage of their lives. Play doesn't just support children's physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and creative development; it actively nurtures and shapes these aspects.

Here at KOMPAN, our early childhood playgrounds and equipment are meticulously crafted based on child observations, child participation, and children's insights. Our experts at KOMPAN's Play Institute ensure that every outdoor play structure we create is not only fun and stimulating but, above all, safe for children to enjoy.

Why is quality playground equipment important for Early Learning Centres?

Play and development go hand in hand. Play is one of the seven emotional systems of the human brain, ranking alongside emotions like happiness, fear, and love. While adults may see activities like swinging, climbing, or sliding as mere fun, well-chosen early childhood playground equipment imparts valuable life skills to children.

Activities such as jumping and running are crucial for building bone density. The World Health Organization recommends that children under five engage in at least three hours of daily physical activity, including a minimum of one hour of vigorous physical play. A high-quality playground at an early learning centre can help meet these requirements, contributing to healthier and happier children.

Safety is paramount in preschool play. Toddlers can be quite rough on equipment, and their developing motor skills and balance make them prone to falls. Preschool playgrounds should be designed to be low and safe, minimising the risk of injuries.

For more information on playground safety, please consult the playground safety guidelines.

Preschooelrs playing in car themed playground equipment

Choosing the right playground equipment

An effective preschool or kindergarten playground fosters social interaction among children, promoting communication and enhancing language and literacy skills. Therefore, the playground equipment should encompass not only physical play opportunities but also activities that engage children in dramatic and cognitive play.

For instance, to support physical development, climbing activities can be highly beneficial. KOMPAN's early climbing product line is specifically designed for children aged 3-6. These climbers are meticulously crafted with the youngest users in mind, featuring rope thickness tailored to small hands and step sizes suitable for small steps.

Consider integrating MOMENTS™ play systems into your playground, offering a diverse range of activities, including physical challenges like climbing small towers and sliding down. The vibrant colors, cozy hangout areas, and thematic elements of these play systems stimulate cognitive and creative thinking in children.

Additionally, freestanding playground equipment is always a crowd-pleaser! Timeless favorites like slides and swings never go out of style. Activities such as Sand and Water Play also hold great appeal, often captivating children's attention for hours. Explore our wide array of freestanding playground equipment options to discover the perfect fit for your specific needs and preferences.

early childhood reference image

The best materials for an outdoor early learning playground?

When selecting playground equipment for early learning centres, prioritise safety and durability in the materials you choose. Opt for materials that are not only long-lasting but also eco-friendly if possible. At KOMPAN, our play panels are crafted from recycled materials, and our play system floors are constructed from recycled High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) with a non-slip surface, ensuring both safety and resilience in all weather conditions.

The same principles apply if you decide on a wooden playground. Organic Robinia wood is exceptionally durable and requires minimal maintenance. It can withstand various weather conditions while offering a pleasing natural aesthetic. Choosing Robinia wood is a sustainable option for those considering an eco-friendly approach. Many of our play products are now available in sustainable materials, maintaining the same high-quality standards as our traditional pieces.

Moreover, pay attention to the playground's surface, as children, especially younger ones, may experience falls at times. Ensuring a safe surface can reduce the risk of injuries. Playground surfaces can consist of materials such as sand, bark, or rubber.

Investing in a secure and long-lasting playground for your preschool guarantees that the play equipment will remain enjoyable for years to come.

early childhood play panel picture
4 things to consider

4 considerations before choosing your next playground

  • What is your budget? Setting your budget is vital when beginning a new outdoor project. Without a budget, it can be hard to determine what playground equipment to install. When allocating funds, don't forget to explore playground grant options and consider surfacing and other installation costs. This can help you avoid any unexpected surprises!

  • What style and material are right for you? Do you want a natural playground, or maybe a playground with bright colours? We have plenty of options for both, take a look at our natural playground equipment for preschools or our playground systems.

  • Who are the users and what is their age group? Is your preschool handling only toddlers, or should your playground be appropriate for a larger age group? It is important to think about inclusiveness in the playground to meet every child's needs.

  • How to cater for the way the playground is used? Here you should consider offering physical and cognitively stimulating play activities to support the children's overall development while playing.

Check out our playground planning checklist for an easier overview of the planning process.


  • Have you established your budget? Setting a clear budget is crucial when embarking on an outdoor project. Without one, deciding on suitable playground equipment can be challenging. As you allocate funds, don't overlook the potential for playground grant options and consider surfacing and other installation costs. This foresight can help you avoid unexpected surprises.

  • Next, consider the style and materials that align with your vision. Are you leaning towards a natural playground or one adorned with vibrant colours? We offer an array of choices for both preferences, so explore our natural early learning playground equipment and our playground systems to find your fit.

  • Identify your users and their age groups. Are your preschoolers primarily toddlers, or is your playground catering to a broader age range? Prioritising inclusivity in playground design is essential to meet the diverse needs of every child.

  • Lastly, contemplate how to cater to the playground's intended use. Think about incorporating physically and cognitively stimulating play activities that foster children's comprehensive development during playtime.

For a streamlined planning process, consult our playground planning checklist, which offers a convenient overview of the steps involved.

See all playground planning tips

Customer cases

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Learning Ladder Watsonia, Australia


Customer Case

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Espira Daycare, Norway

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