Early childhood playgrounds offer not only the physical benefits of children becoming heathier and stronger, but they encourage the growth of critical developmental and social skills that will eventually help children become effective thinkers, leaders and collaborators. As children play they learn persistence, patience, coping skills, share with others, practice empathy and express their thoughts and ideas.
The National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) says that playful learning outdoors goes beyond mere niceties and is critical for healthy whole child development. And, when play is emphasized in early childhood, it lays a foundation for important skills that will carry them to adulthood.
Designing Age-Appropriate Early Childhood Playgrounds
Early childhood playgrounds for toddlers or preschoolers encourage skill development through interactive play, sensory experiences, challenging activities, imagination and independence.
When designing toddler and preschool playgrounds, keep in mind:
- Children ages 6 to 23 months are gaining strength, stability and motor skills, along with a host of other physical and cognitive skills.
- At ages 2 to 5, children are developing physical play and thinking more creatively so it’s important to focus on playground designs that offer age-appropriate challenges to test their motor skills, strength, agility and more.
Inclusive Early Childhood Playgrounds
Children need to play, learn and grow together, side by side, and simple accessibility is not enough. Early childhood playgrounds should encourage and support the development of children with all levels of abilities.
We will work with you to ensure your playground includes a wide range of activities to accommodate a variety of developmental needs with our inclusive playground equipment. Learn more about the benefits of inclusive playgrounds and browse our playground equipment options.
Early Childhood Playground Designs & Plans
We understand designing a playground can feel overwhelming so we created a step-by-step guide that breaks everything down to make it easy and fun. One size doesn't fit all and we'll help you design a custom playground for your childcare or daycare center that meets your unique needs.
Through our playground planning checklist we will help you:
- Envision and define playground objectives
- Analyze characteristics of your site to maximize space and surrounding elements
- Meet safety regulations and guidelines to keep kids safe while they play
- Build your playground on a budget and raise funding
- Install and maintain your playground
Safety Guidelines for Early Childhood Playgrounds
Scrapes and bruises are bound to happen as kids play but it's important to take steps to eliminate the risk of more serious mishaps.
When working with us, we'll help you select age-appropriate products, playground safety surfacing and shade systems that meet safety regulations and guidelines to keep kids in your care safe. We can also help you with proper installation, safety audits and maintenance inspections to ensure your playground for toddlers and preschoolers remains as safe as possible.
Learn more about early childhood playground safety.
Funding & Grants for Early Childhood Playgrounds
Funding your playground may seem daunting, but we don't want money to be the obstacle that keeps you from realizing your playground dreams. We will give you effective fundraising tools and techniques and a playground grant guide to make fundraising hassle free. We will also give you tips on how to write a grant proposal that gets noticed.
Explore the many ways to fund your playground.
Work with a Playground Consultant
Our global network of toddler and preschool playground experts is on hand to help find the right playground design that is safe, challenging and fun for all of your toddlers and preschoolers. They’ll learn about your specific needs and priorities, then guide you through every step to make the process as easy as possible. Connect with a Landscape Structures consultant.