White paper

Play value increases with sensory play

How sensory playground equipment affects play

New research from KOMPAN Play Institute shows that sensory playground equipment increases play value and play duration in toddlers.

What is sensory playground equipment? Items on a playground that appeal to the main senses, such as touch, sight, and hearing that are naturally engaging to children, especially younger kids. Including sensory elements in your playground project can enrich the play experience by engaging the child more deeply in play. Toddlers learn and develop skills through outdoor play. But what is the right play stimulation level to ensure development and learning without reaching over-stimulation?

KOMPAN Play Institute set out to examine toddlers, particularly how sensory playground features effect and stimulate their play. Observations were done on children aged 1 to 4 at a nursery and kindergarten in Denmark. Read the white paper's findings via the link below.

White paper

Play value increases with sensory play

Considerations for designing toddler-aged play

5 Design Considerations for Group and Pretend Play in Toddlers

  1. Based on these observations, we have five design considerations for toddler playgrounds for pretend and social play stimulation: Right ergonomic measures for toddlers. Make sure that they can reach, manipulate, look over or into items such as mirrors.

  2. Rich tactile and manipulative items for exploration and pretend play. Vary materials and functionalities in play features, e.g. soft and hard materials, moveable and stationary items.

  3. Themes that toddlers recognize (e.g. house, window, mirror, watch, desk, curtain).

  4. Open, ground level based units mean play from outside also.

  5. Sectioned functionalities in unites: sides with or without play features etc. make for varied play opportunities and more groups.