Why School Playground Equipment Helps Child Development

It’s no secret that children today spend many more hours in front of devices than most of us would like them to. In fact, on average kids spend around seven hours a day looking at screens and devices, much more than they do playing outside. There are clear detriments to this, from the isolation it can entail to the fact that there is rarely physical activity involved. Getting children to play outside more is vital for positive child development – and school playground equipment has a key role to play in this.


School playground equipment and outdoor play


There are lots of benefits for children in engaging in more outdoor play. That’s why school playground equipment is so beneficial – it provides the opportunity for children to get active outdoors and this has a number of key advantages when it comes to child development.


Physical development – Playing outside on school playground equipment helps children to develop more advanced motor skills, compared to kids who spend more time indoors. Engaging in physical activity provides the opportunity to build strength and fitness without self-consciousness and this increases confidence. There are many long-term health benefits for children who play outside more often, including reducing the potential for health-threatening obesity.

Social development –School playground equipment has a vital role to play in helping children develop socially. It’s here that children can learn to communicate with each other and start to understand the value of building friendships. These are open spaces where there is no pressure to compete and so children can be more creative and develop more self-awareness of their own feelings, as well as the feelings of others around them.

Emotional development – When children are engaged in school playground equipment, they tend to use all five senses and experience sensory engagement. It can be a great way to build up independence through experimentation and exploration and the process of taking risks and trying new things can trigger vital self-reflection that is essential for adult life. Play also provides a way to build resilience – children understand themselves better and can learn how to be kind to themselves if they fail so that they can pick themselves up and try again.

Intellectual development – It’s not just the classroom where intellectual development happens but, in the playground, too. Unstructured play helps with everything, from decision-making to organisational abilities. It offers children the opportunity to acquire new information and skills through play and can spark interest in a whole range of topics, such as the environment and the natural world. In the playground children can interact with many others they may not normally encounter, broadening perspectives and understanding, and improving interpersonal skills.

Mental health development – There is a direct correlation between positive mental health and the more time children spend in nature.


School playground equipment provides a space in which children can explore, interact and develop in many of the most important ways. To browse the huge range of school playground equipment we offer, take a look at our playground equipment page.