Play and physical activity at an early age opens a lifetime of enjoyment and health. It encourages children to start exploring the environment beyond themselves, increases body awareness and promotes movement while having fun!
Toddler and Pre-Schooler play supports the growth of physically strong and healthy bodies and minds. As Albert Einstein once said, “Play is the highest form of research.” It fosters a love of playing and interacting with others, and successfully ticks the boxes for cognitive, emotional, physical and social development.
Essential Playground Checklist
- The number one focus is on having fun
- Introduces such activities as climbing, creeping, jumping, and balancing, and for preschoolers a chance to hop, gallop, skip, slide and leap
- Provides opportunities to walk on various surfaces to discover equilibrium and footing
- Offers variety and flexibility to change configurations, heights, and increase or decrease the difficulty
- Safe and carefully positioned equipment – fixed and moveable – with simple props and safe landings
- Allows adults to lend assistance while providing independence
- Facilitates parallel play so children learn to share, work with others, and take turns; and provides self play areas if desired
- Challenges but fosters success
- Prompts a child’s intellect to make choices of activities, and discover and explore
- Establishes a channel for imaginative and dramatic play – both real and make believe
- Provides opportunities to solve problems.
Research shows that children who have positive, early experiences with play are more likely to be active in later life leading to long-term health and well-being.