Inspiration for your kindergarten or preschool's playground
Children develop at an astonishing rate in kindergartens and preschools, so much that it can be challenging to keep up. A great playground is not only a fun place for the children. It also inspires staff to find new and exciting ways to stimulate the children and the daily physical challenge is great for them! Experiencing the world through play gives the children the necessary social skills to prepare them for the next step in their school life. As 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. KOMPAN Play Institute is KOMPAN's unit of play specialists, and your way to make sure that your preschool playground is tested and safe for the children.
Why is good playground equipment important for kindergartens and preschools?
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, like language development and corporation.
Jumping and running are important for building bone density and the World Health Organization recommends daily physical activity of at least three hours for the under-five, and as a minimum, one hour of vigorous physical activity for young children. A preschool or kindergarten with a good playground can help facilitate these requirements, which will result 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. Preschool 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 preschool or kindergarten playground allows the children to connect with peers which encourages communication and expands language and literacy skills. Therefore, the playground equipment should offer a range of physical play just as much as dramatic and cognitive play.
A good way to stimulate physical development could be through climbing. KOMPAN's early climbing product line is made specifically for the 3-6-year-old. That means the playground climbers are carefully made for the youngest, the thickness of the rope matches small hands, and the steps on the rope structure match small steps.
Another great addition to your playground could be 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 great play activities, and you will often see the children use the equipment for hours. Get inspired by our many options of freestanding playground equipment, you will find plenty of options for your needs.
What materials are best for an outdoor preschool 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 FELXOTOP™ 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!
4 things to consider before you start designing your next playground
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 set and systems.
Who are the users and 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 think about offering both 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.
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