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Playing Outdoors: A Well-Rounded Learning Experience for School-Age Children


Playing outdoors isn’t just about burning off steam for children.It’s really a crucial aspectof needed growth and developmentfor each child.

WhyOutdoor Play Matters

Here are a few of the many benefits from allowing children to engage in outdoor play:

  • Children need vigorous exercise
  • Improved communication and social skills
  • Sunlight exposure produces needed Vitamin D for bones
  • Increases attention span and boosts cognitive abilities

Creating Outdoor Learning Areas & Spaces

Here are a few elements that are beneficial to incorporate into a proper outdoor play environment:

Outdoor Learning AreaSuggested Activities and Materials
Nature Area Give children some fun and meaningful ways to interact with nature.  Set up a garden or discovery area with items to explore and handle like seeds, leaves, barks, fossils, etc.
Social Area Outdoor play itself can be social, but this area gives children more quiet space for focused reflection and social interaction.  Picnic tables, benches, and designated cozy spots in the playground area all work well for socialization.
Sensory Area Include activities, materials, and stations which allow children to explore and discover through sensory engagement.  Water tables, sand boxes, digging tools,outdoor musical instruments, and other event stations are all great sensory area options.

Popular Playground Equipment Options to Consider

A well-designed playground is an ideal space for children to exercise, have fun, and grow important skills, all at the same time! Here are some great elements worth including:

  • Manipulative Panels
  • Water & Sand Tables
  • Inclusive Play Elements
  • Themed Play Elements
  • Outdoor Musical Elements

Playground Equipment provides children with an opportunity to play, exercise, develop both motor & social skills, and just plain have fun! Playgrounds are really a child’s domain, his or her territory – the place that’s specially set apart just for children to use and enjoy.That’s why your public or private facility needs a playground that’s rugged, well-designed, age-specific, safe for children, AND low-maintenance. A facility like yours can’t afford to settle for low-cost, low-quality playground equipment that requires frequent repair is more prone to causing injuries. You need commercial-grade playground equipment that’s built to last. Carolina Recreation & Design provides and installs complete commercial playgrounds, outdoor playground equipment, and play structures, safety surfacing, fabric playground canopies, sun shades, picnic shelters, and much, much more!

Playground Equipment for Schools, Preschools & Daycares

What are some of your best memories from your early days of school, preschool, or daycare? You probably remember a favorite teacher or two, but some of the most formative times for children don’t always occur inside the classroom – they occur outside on the playground!

It’s hard to imagine a school or a preschool without a playground, because playgrounds are such fundamental components of a young child’s growth and development. Childhood learning experts point to many benefits of physical play for kids, including the development of dexterity, creativity, cognitive skills, social skills, and emotional management. The stress release a schoolchild gains from play also helps put that child in a better mindset for learning when they return to the classroom.

In fact, many states – including North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia – have passed laws requiring elementary schools to allow at least 20-30 minutes of daily physical activity for students. And laws have been on the books for years requiring preschools and childcare facilities to give each child (no matter how young) the opportunity for outdoor play every day, weather conditions permitting. In other words, providing children opportunities to play outside isn’t just a good idea – it’s actually the law! And there’s really no better facility for play than a commercial playground from Carolina Recreation & Design!

Ready to dig deeper in learning about well-rounded outdoor play environments?Check out the complete infographic about outdoor play from your friends at Carolina Recreation & Design!

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