Play has many benefits for toddlers. It helps them understand the world, acquire self-confidence, gain muscle strength, develop crucial skills, and much more.
Yet, they will need the right equipment for jumping, spinning, swinging, and sliding. This is why parents must find a good playground set that severs its primary purpose.
This article seeks to help parents find a durable and budget-friendly playground sets that maximize your child’s development.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Play for Toddlers
Playing is not simply excitement and games. Play is also a vital teaching tool that inspires creativity and imagination.
By playing, toddlers will know how to interact and socialize with other kids. They eventually develop essential life skills through wholesome playtime experiences.
Active play also increases the toddler’s agility, fine and gross motor skills, and enhance their physical skills. Likewise, it promotes cognitive skills that toddlers will use when they go to school and emotional skills to control their emotions.
Development of Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills allow toddlers to go about their daily functions – Crawling, Walking, Skipping, and Running. This ability includes playground skills like climbing or swinging and sporting skills such as throwing a ball.
Children grow gross motor skills at dissimilar rates. Here’s the problem. Toddlers who have difficulty with gross motor skills can find it hard to run, jump and throw objects.
Parents should expose their kids to various opportunities to develop said abilities.
Development of Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills require the use of smaller hand muscles. This is for simple self-care and academic tasks to open lunch boxes, button up shirts, or use pencils and scissors.
Hand and eye coordination progress as fine motor skills develop. In like manner, the toddlers become more self-sufficient and understand their body functions.
Children normally start to assimilate these talents as early as one to two months old and learn more fine motor skills through preschool.
In their continuing effort to explore the world around them, toddlers learn little by little social skills enabling them to create successful relationships with other kids.
They normally acquire said skills by observing and imitating grown-ups closest to them. Social development is anchored on communication and activity with other kids.
Although toddlers don’t make friends, share or collaborate until they reach a certain age (around 18 months), they are at an advantage when they go to preschool if given many opportunities to play with peers.
Parents can evaluate their kids’ social skills by observing their play and interaction with playmates.
Thing to Consider Before Purchasing
Fun is the name of the game but this should not be your sole yardstick in purchasing a playground set for your little one. The more important factors are safety, durability, price, and scale- the fun will happen, don’t worry.
The safety of toddlers is the parents’ foremost concern. Remember that falling off playground equipment remains the number one cause of accidents.
The odds of this happening go up if the structure is not right for the child’s age and height/weight. Or, safety railings (barriers) are not sufficient. The ground covering material is also a major consideration.
The playground set must be robust. Regardless of material, parents should closely examine the gear’s durability.
Hard-wearing materials include pressure-treated wood, galvanized steel, and plastic.
The weather always has an adverse impact on materials. Thus, take into account the environment before choosing the material.
The price of playground sets depends on the material, features, and dimensions. Cost increases with installation, ground anchors and protective surface material.
Budget-conscious parents must check all available suppliers or sources to get value for their money.
Scale means how much space the equipment occupies and how much room you need to safely use the equipment. It is recommended to allow at least eight feet of open space that surrounds the structure on all sides (for most equipment).
This gives toddlers enough space to play, run around and use the gear safely. Review product descriptions and features thoroughly to ensure the model you buy is a good fit for your space.
Indoor Playground Sets for Toddlers
Indoor playground sets are perfect during winter, inclement weather, hot days, and night time play. Toddlers can continue to play and have fun despite the downpour or when it gets to be too cold or dark outdoors.
Outdoor/Indoor Playground Sets for Toddlers
Some playground sets for toddlers are meant for both indoors and outdoors. These sets are a practical option because it can be used at any time of the year. Here are some good options for doting parents.
The Young Explorers Adventure Climber includes a children’s slide with easy to grip side rails. The ladder has handles for trouble-free climbing leading to a huge two-tiered platform. The rounded edges are child-friendly. It is very heavy-duty with the double-wall construction making it weather and UV-resistant.
This set has four functions – Slide, Swing, Basketball Hoop, and a Ring Toss. These are all sized for toddlers. It is made from tough and non-toxic, high-density polyethylene and carries a total weight of 110 pounds. The entire slide has smooth connections making it safe for the tender skin of babies. Parts are easy to assemble.
Outdoor Playground Sets for Toddlers
This fun water table is filled with features. It enables toddlers to enhance fine motor skills, sharing skills and their creativity while enjoying a splashing time. This water toy is just the right height that toddlers will surely play for a long time. Perfect as a stand-alone or addition to any outdoor playset.
Final Thoughts and Considerations
Many options are available when it comes to playsets for your little one. Make sure to shop around and read reviews to help you make the best decision possible.
I hope this article has been helpful to you, remember to be safe and have fun!
Over 14 years in special education with a BA in psychology. I work daily with children of all kinds, with a special focus on childhood development and play using music and play equipment among other tools.