Designing a Playground for Preschoolers

Young girl crawling through tube on an early childhood playground.

Preschool Playground Design

For preschoolers, play is serious business! Before their school years, younger kids rely on playtime to learn and develop physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. Designing a playground for preschoolers allows you to create a safe and enriching space for the future generation!

Big Concepts in Early Childhood Playground Design and What Kids Need

Small children require a few specific features from their preschool playground’s design. The space needs to have the following characteristics.

  • Be engaging: Children in the preschool years are still developing their attention spans, so playgrounds need to be exciting and interesting to keep their focus. Look for bright colors, multiple activities and a natural element to keep kids engaged.
  • Promote independent and supervised play: Provide activities that let kids play independently and with adult supervision. This combination will mean playground equipment should have plenty of space around it so caregivers and adults can step in to help.
  • Be inclusive: Young children develop at different speeds, so you need play equipment advanced and developing children can use to refine their gross and fine motor skills. Look for play equipment that allows caregivers to help children if they need it. PlayPower Canada has a wide variety of play equipment for children of all abilities.
  • Lend development supports: Look for playground equipment designed to help children grow physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. For example, equipment that builds fine motor skills, appeals to the senses and encourages children to play in groups while learning makes playtime more impactful.

As you are planning your preschool playground design, you can incorporate features that will support and foster physical and social growth.

Choosing the Perfect Location for Preschool Playgrounds

As you begin designing your playground and considering what features you may want to include, you will also need to choose your playground’s location. Because playgrounds are large community features where children can play and develop together, many communities choose public spaces like parks, schools and recreation centers for new playgrounds. In public spaces, neighbors can access the playground and provide beneficial play areas for their children.

However, when choosing a location, you will also need to consider the space’s natural and existing features.

  • Ground level: Depending on your playground’s design, you will want to choose a property that better matches the ground level you are looking for. Further, you should keep your target audience in mind. Preschoolers are still developing motor and dexterity skills, making them more prone to falls and collisions. Because of this, creating a flatter, more open space might be a better option to help protect them while ensuring they can still have fun.
  • Available shade: Because playgrounds are available year-round and always open to the public, you will need to plan for the space to function in various weather patterns. A property with trees surrounding it can help provide shade on warmer and sunnier days and protect children from sunburns. Further, trees are often great spaces for placing benches, where children and parents can rest.
  • Drainage: Like ensuring shade for sunny days, you will also need to protect your playground from excess water after rain and snowstorms. Choosing a property with good drainage or the capability to develop it will ensure your park can remain available rain or shine.

Further, communities can also benefit from playgrounds with nearby amenities. Consider looking for the nearest restrooms and other necessary assets to help you choose the perfect location.

Putting Safety First

Safety is a critical concern for preschool markets. Children of this age are still working on balance and muscle group control. They may not know how to stay safe, so they could be at risk on playgrounds that are perfectly acceptable for older kids to play on. When designing a day care playground, you can keep children safer with this advice.

  • Keep heights low: Ensure there are no tall heights after setting up the equipment.
  • Look for play equipment designed for younger children: Playground slides, climbers, swings and other pieces aimed at older children can be dangerous for toddlers. Always get playground equipment exclusively for your age group.
  • Buy quality equipment: Purchase from quality manufacturers with a track record of safety and create durable, quality pieces from non-toxic materials. For example, PlayPower Canada carefully curates the best brands to help you design a safe play space.

Regardless of how children choose to play, help ensure their safety by working it into the playground’s design and selecting the best equipment available.

Design Your Next Preschool Playground With PlayPower Canada

Many factors go into preschool playground design, from choosing a location that will cater to your needs to selecting materials that will keep children safe as they play. At PlayPower Canada, we have designed and manufactured high-quality playground equipment to support development, inclusivity and fun. We work with you to build the perfect playground that best fits your space and budget with colourful and functional equipment.

If you’re ready to start creating your play area for little ones, contact PlayPower Canada today to toss around some preschool playground design ideas and start putting together your custom playground.

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