Inspiration for


Girl looking through binoculars on a playground

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

Children develop at an astonishing rate in nurseries and reception classes. So much so, that it can be challenging to keep up! A great playground is not only a fun place for the children - it also does wonders for their physical and cognitive development. Experiencing the world through play gives children the necessary social skills to prepare them for the next step in their school life. This is because children’s physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and creative development is not only supported by play, but also developed through play. At KOMPAN, we develop playgrounds and play equipment for early childhood based on child observations, child involvement, and child input. Specialists at KOMPAN's Play Institute make sure that all outdoor play equipment we create is fun, stimulating, and - most importantly - safe for children to play on.

Why is Quality Playground Equipment Important for Early Years Settings?

Play and growth are intertwined. Play is one of the seven emotional systems of the human brain and is on par with other human emotional instincts such as happiness, fear, and love. For adults, simple play such as swinging, climbing, or sliding seems to be "just fun" - when in fact, well-chosen early childhood playground equipment teaches the children important life skills.

Jumping and running are important for building bone density and the World Health Organization recommends a daily physical activity level of at least three hours for the under-five, and as a minimum, one hour of vigorous physical activity for young children. A nursery or pre-school with a good quality playground can help facilitate these requirements, resulting in healthier and happier children. 

Safety is a challenge for preschool play. Toddlers can be hard on equipment, and since they are still developing their fine and gross motor skills as well as their balance, they fall down easily. Early Years playgrounds should be low and safe enough for children to play with less risk of injury. 

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

What Playground Equipment Should you Choose?

A good nursery or pre-school playground allows the children to connect with peers, encouraging communication and expanding language and literacy skills. Therefore, the playground equipment should offer a range of dramatic and cognitive play, as well as physical play.

Climbing is a great way to stimulate physical development. KOMPAN's early climbing product line is made specifically to suit the 3 to 6 year old age bracket. This means the playground climbers are carefully made for the youngest users - the thickness of the rope matches small hands, and the steps on the rope structure match small feet.

Another great addition to your playground could be our Moments™ play systems. They offer a variety of play, with physical activities crawling up in the small tower and sliding down. Bright colours, hangout spots, and the theme of the play system stimulate the children cognitively and creatively. 

Freestanding playground equipment is always a hit! The all-time favourites are slides and swings. Sand and Water Play are also wonderfully stimulating play activities, and you will often see the children use the equipment for hours. Get inspired by our many options of freestanding playground equipment. Our extensive selection of products offers many options for your needs.

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What Materials are Best for an Outdoor Nursery Playground?

When choosing preschool playground equipment you should always make sure that the materials used for the equipment are safe to play on. The materials should be eco-friendly and highly durable. KOMPAN's play panels are all made from recyclable materials, our floors on the play systems are made of High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) with a non-skid surface texture to ensure safety and a long lifetime in all climates. 

The same applies if you choose a wooden playground. Organic Robinia wood is highly resistible and requires low maintenance. It can tolerate all kinds of weather, and the natural look is appealing to look at. Robinia wood is a great alternative if you are thinking about a more sustainable approach. Many of our play products are now available in sustainable materials, but have the same excellent quality! 

The surface of your playground is also important, as many children - especially smaller children, will take a fall from time to time. By making sure that your surface is safe, you can reduce the risk of injuries. Playground surfaces can be sand, grass, or our FLEXOTOP™ ECO. Read more about safe surfacing here. 

Investing in a good and safe playground for your preschool or kindergarten ensures that the play equipment will last for years to come!  

early childhood play panel picture
4 things to consider

4 Things to Consider 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 take into account 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 pre-schools or our playground sets and systems.

  • Who are the users and what is their age group? Is your pre-school 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 think about offering both physical and cognitively stimulating play activities to support the children's overall development while playing.

See all playground planning tips

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