From parks to preschools, backyards to shopping centres, kids play equipment has become a staple of our suburban landscapes. Mostly, because it is simple for parents and entertaining for kids, encouraging development of social skills as well as physical activity. When you see a swing and a slide often, all the developmental benefits are no the first thought. However, pay equipment offers far more than some fun for children. As most are located in public spaces (public parks, shopping centres, schools and day-care centres) they demand a level of co-operation and social skills from kids. Interacting with other children and learning to negotiate other’s needs are things that come into play for kids in public park spaces. Kids must share the equipment, developing skills in sharing and self-control as they are forced to wait for their turn. The development of these social skills makes play equipment an educational toy for kids, both socially and physically, emotionally and cognitively.
Children can learn to develop emotional resistance in situations occurring in public uses of plastic cubby house. Children are able to watch the way others interact, and often model these behaviours. They are also usually faced with new situations such as sharing or encountering a less than friendly kid. These scenarios teach children social skills as well as emotional resilience. They are able to discover ways to deal with these issues through these play equipment interactions.
Particular toys also develop specific motor skills in children particularly in those aged nought to five. Kids ride on toys such as see-saws and play equipment that spins or moves provide kids with the basic motor skills needed later in life. A see-saw for example develops coordination and spatial awareness as children are required to anticipate heights. Bridges built into play equipment can help to develop loco motor skills whilst swings can aid in the development of balance and coordination. Studies have shown that children who have poor motor skills due to a lack of development opportunities will likely not ever develop sufficient motor skills. Play equipment can be a great way for these skills to be developed, with a range of activities presented to child.
The development of language skills is promoted through the use of kids play equipment, particularly in public settings. Children are required to verbally interact with other children, using their words to ask for things and to communicate their problems. There is greater opportunity for children to practice with their speaking skills, and for those of you who have ever tried to learn a second language, you’ll know that opportunity for practice is key to success. It is no different for children. When you think of play equipment as an educational toy for kids rather than just a bit of fun, the list of benefits becomes quite lengthy from motor skills developed from kids ride on toys to language development.