As a child, going to the playground is such an exciting activity. You get there and you see all the cool equipment – which to go on first? Will you grab a swing and soar higher than you ever did before? Is today the day you get to the top of the climbing frame?
Of course, all fun aside, what children don’t realise when they are playing in the playground, is that they are developing a huge range of skills at the same time.
Playground towers, in particular, combine multiple developmental opportunities into one aesthetically pleasing piece of equipment. They often have all kinds of features integrated into their design, like swings, climbing walls, swinging ropes, slides, lookout platforms and more.
These kinds of features create a complete centre for fun whilst also aiding children’s development in many different ways. Let’s take a closer look:
Active Time Is Boosted
The NHS tells us that young people from age 5-16 should be doing at least 60 minutes of vigorous activity daily, and toddlers should be active for at least three hours across each day. This is to help them to develop their bones and muscles, and to help them avoid issues like obesity, which is prevalent in children in the UK and has many associated health risks.
By grabbing, pulling, jumping, climbing and using other movements to enjoy the playground tower, kids are also developing coordination, balance and spatial awareness skills.
Learning About Problem Solving
Children have to use and develop problem solving skills when they use activity towers, because they have to work out how to get from A to B. Something as simple as climbing a mini climbing wall to get to the top of the tower involves thinking about which feet and hands to put where, and how to estimate risk and navigate the journey to the goal destination.
Providing A Safe Space For Feeling Good
Children can struggle with stress and anxiety from a young age. Spending time in nature is known to help them manage those feelings, and actively helps them to develop better mechanisms to cope with those feelings.
When using the playground tower, kids can also run around and burn off energy, building confidence by interacting with the equipment in different ways. Maybe getting faster at climbing up the net ladder, or hanging onto the swing bars for much longer each time.
Practising & Developing Motor Skills
Playground towers are great pieces of equipment for helping kids to develop their motor skills. Fine motor skills are used with actions such as: gripping chains, ropes and climbing attachments. Gross motor skills are used with actions such as: shifting weight to balance on the slide, using the legs to get the swing in motion or using swing bars to help with coordination and sequencing. These important skills are practised and developed constantly as the child interacts with the playground tower.
Learning & Using Social Skills
Children have to share playground equipment and use language skills, body language and facial expressions to communicate with other children who are using the playground tower at the same time. Conflicts and conflict resolution are also highly likely in this kind of environment.
During their time in the playground the child will also likely play alone, and with others too, joining in with the games others are playing and actively inventing games and encouraging others to join.
All of this social interaction helps children to practise vital social skills in a safe environment where they can also make lots of new friends.
Endless Opportunity For Imaginary Play
Imaginary play is used by kids to turn a playground tower into a part of the game they are playing. Maybe it is a fortress and they are ‘at war’ with ‘the enemy’. Maybe the tower is a big sea monster they are trying to defeat. Perhaps the tower is where somebody is being kept prisoner and they have to work together to free them.
All of this kind of imaginative play helps children to develop various skills. It helps them to develop language skills, to experiment with social and emotional aspects of life. They can learn about the emotions of others, develop empathy, and learn how to regulate their own behaviour to suit the situation. They can also be creative and let their imagination go wild, expressing themselves freely whilst safely playing out roles and fantasies alone and with others.
Why Not Consider A Playground Tower To Enhance Your Outdoor Space?
Whether you are a school looking for a playground centrepiece, or a council hoping to enhance a neglected public playground, a playground tower is a great idea. It provides all the developmental benefits above and more, so kids can have endless fun whilst also practising vital skills they will take with them into adulthood.
Why not speak to a reputable playground equipment company today to find out about their range of towers and how they could work in your outdoor space. With the right playground tower, you could enhance your playground greatly, providing kids that use it a rich opportunity for development, and many hours of fun and memory making too.