Inspiration for


Child at kindergarten playing in a play tower

Playground Inspiration for Nurseries, Pre-Schools & Early Years Settings

Children grow and learn quickly while attending nurseries and reception classes. It can be difficult to keep up with their progress. Having a fantastic playground not only provides enjoyment for the children but also benefits their physical and cognitive development.

Playing is crucial for children to develop social skills that will prepare them for school. This is because play supports and enhances their physical, emotional, cognitive, and creative development. KOMPAN specialises in designing playgrounds and play equipment for young children based on their observations, involvement, and input. Our team of experts at the Play Institute ensures that all outdoor play equipment we create is not only fun and stimulating but also safe for children to play on.

Why is Quality Playground Equipment Important for Early Years Settings?

The concepts of play and growth are closely linked. Play is considered one of the seven emotional systems in the human brain, on the same level as other emotional instincts like happiness, fear, and love. Although adults may view activities like swinging, climbing, and sliding as simple fun, early childhood playground equipment that is carefully selected can actually teach children valuable life skills.

Engaging in activities like jumping and running is crucial for developing strong bones. To ensure children under five get enough physical activity, the World Health Organization suggests they engage in at least three hours of playtime each day, with one hour of vigorous activity being the minimum requirement. A high-quality playground at a nursery or preschool can provide the perfect space for meeting these needs, leading to healthier and happier kids.

Preschool play presents safety challenges due to toddlers' rough handling of equipment. Since they are still in the process of developing their fine and gross motor skills, as well as their balance, they are prone to falling. Therefore, Early Years playgrounds should be designed to be low and safe enough for children to play with minimal risk of injury.

If you want to know more about playground safety, please read the playground safety guidelines

Preschooelrs playing in car themed playground equipment

What Playground Equipment Should you Choose?

A nursery or preschool playground should provide a variety of play options to promote social, cognitive, and physical development, including dramatic and cognitive play.

Engaging in climbing activities can be an effective way to promote physical growth and development. KOMPAN offers a range of climbing products that are specifically designed for children between the ages of 3 and 6. These playground climbers are crafted with the youngest users in mind, with rope thickness and step sizes tailored to small hands and feet.

Consider adding one of our Moments™ play systems to your playground for even more fun. These systems offer a range of physical activities, such as climbing up the small tower and sliding down. With bright colors, hangout spots, and engaging themes, the play systems also stimulate children's cognitive and creative abilities.

Kids absolutely love freestanding playground equipment! The most popular choices are slides and swings, but sand and water play activities are also incredibly engaging and can keep children entertained for hours on end. Check out our wide range of freestanding playground equipment and get inspired by all the possibilities. With our extensive selection of products, you're sure to find exactly what you need to create a fun and exciting play environment for your nursery.

early childhood reference image

What Materials are Best for an Outdoor Nursery Playground?

It's important to prioritise safety when selecting playground equipment for Early Years settings. You should ensure that the materials used are durable, and it's even better if they're eco-friendly. KOMPAN offers play panels made from recyclable materials and play system floors made of High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) with a non-skid surface texture that provides safety and longevity in all climates.

If you decide to go for a wooden playground, choosing organic Robinia wood is a smart choice. This type of wood is durable and easy to maintain and can withstand various weather conditions. Additionally, its natural appearance is visually appealing. Opting for Robinia wood is also a sustainable option, and many of our play products are now available in eco-friendly materials without compromising on quality.

It's essential to consider the surface of your playground, as kids, especially younger ones, often fall. Ensuring a safe surface reduces the chances of injuries. You can choose from sand, grass, or our FLEXOTOP™ ECO for your playground surface. Check out more information on safe surfacing here.

Investing in a durable and safe playground for your nursery or preschool will ensure that the play equipment lasts for years to come.

early childhood play panel picture
4 things to consider

4 Things to Consider Before Choosing your Next Playground

  • When starting a new outdoor project, it's essential to set a budget. Without one, it can be challenging to decide on the appropriate playground equipment to install. It's vital to consider surfacing and other installation expenses when allocating funds to avoid any unexpected surprises. For more information, check out our playground budget or playground grants guide.

  • Are you looking for the perfect style and material for your playground? Would you prefer a natural look or vibrant colours? We offer a wide range of options for both. Check out our natural playground equipment for pre-schools or explore our playground sets and systems.

  • Who are your users and what age group do they belong to? Does your pre-school cater only to toddlers or should your playground be suitable for a wider age range? Inclusivity in the playground is crucial to ensure that every child's needs are met.

  • How can the playground be designed to cater to children's overall development? Consider providing both physically and mentally stimulating play activities.

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

See all playground planning tips

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