When the grown-ups are away, the kids will play — at least, that’s the goal for a daycare. Daycares are all about supporting child development, but they can’t do that without effective playspaces. Time and time again, we see the benefits of play for virtually every dimension of child development, from cognitive skills to physical health to imagination. Implementing an indoor playground is one of the best ways to help kids grow and support the goals of daycare.
A good indoor daycare playground can take on many forms, but it should provide a safe and magical space for imaginations to run wild. It should also create opportunities for developing motor skills, socializing with other kids and experiencing challenges.
WHAT IS AN INDOOR PLAYGROUND?
When we picture a playground, we typically think of an outdoor structure. Indoor playgrounds are a bit different. They tend to offer more creative freedom with unique and exciting pieces. They can blend in perfectly with your interior decor or transport kids to faraway settings like pirate ships or giant gardens.
Indoor playgrounds might take many forms, from a small cushioned area with a few sculpted-foam critters to a decked-out climbing tower with interactive features. They can be made of soft materials and placed on cushioned surfaces for extra safety, which is particularly useful for young kids. The possibilities are endless, allowing kids to play in the comfort of the indoors with safe yet engaging pieces.
HOW INDOOR PLAY AREAS SUPPORT GOALS
Indoor playgrounds are especially great for daycares because they can help you meet business and care goals while solving a few common problems with playtime. Indoor playgrounds offer:
Year-round play:While outdoor playgrounds are great, kids can’t use them if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Snow, rain, wind — none of it matters if your playground is indoors. You don’t need to worry about excessive heat that could become dangerous or spend time messing with coats and gloves.
Easy monitoring:In an outdoor playground, kids might be able to run off in any direction, and caregivers need to keep a sharp eye on them. While supervision is still necessary for indoor playgrounds, it’s usually easier to keep an eye on kids when they stay in the confines of the daycare building.
Support for mental and physical development:Playgrounds have a lot to offer for various types of development. Playtime has a vital role in building up emotional, social and physical skills, and an indoor playground allows daycares to better focus on these abilities.
Differentiation from the competition:Indoor playgrounds can be a unique way to set yourself apart. Parents like to know their kids will be attending a daycare that puts healthy development first. A playground can illustrate that commitment and help you offer more comprehensive care. It can also be an eye-catching addition to the building, sure to grab attention when you show prospective parents around.
Appropriate spaces for young kids:Not all outdoor playgrounds are suitable for young kids. Many indoor playground elements are soft and squishy, making them appropriate for your littlest attendees.
In short, indoor playspaces can help kids stay safe while learning about the world, themselves and others — the primary goal of a daycare.