The modern playground keeps evolving to meet the needs of educators and children. Indoor playgrounds are just as prevalent as outdoor playgrounds. You may find yourself wondering, “How can I make the most of limited resources by using some of the same play equipment for indoor or outdoor play?”
Mobility for Outdoor Play
Our Ball Cart rolls on 4 casters to make moving play equipment from indoors to outdoors and back again effortless. Shelves provide storage for jump ropes, frisbees, Velcro® ball catching games, hopping sacks, cones and more. The integrated, heavy-duty, nylon bin accommodates an array of balls, sports equipment, and oddly shaped accessories.
Weather- & Rust-Resistant
Constructed from powder-coated steel and wire, the Ball Cart’s frame is rust resistant. The value in outdoor play equipment is realized through longevity. If equipment & accessories are not weather-resistant, they will probably require frequent replacement.
Indoor Play Benefits
Have consoles, computers, and games replaced physical play activities in the lives of children? Parents often despair over their kids spending too much time indoors in front of a screen.
When the weather is cold or rainy, indoor play becomes a necessity. Yet, bad weather does not mean kids need to stay sedentary all day. Physical activity comes in many forms. Soft play equipment and exercise mats originally transformed the indoor playground into a staple for developing gross motor skills, such as balance and coordination.
In addition to soft play activities, many games and sports once considered outdoor activities easily transition to indoor play. Here are a few examples:
- Potato Sack Races (Ex. Potato Sacks – Set of 6 LC131)
- Basketball Hoops (Ex. 4-Rings Basketball Stand.)
- Kids Cornhole Bean Bag Toss
- Trikes, Scooters, and Ride-On Equipment (Ex. MyRider® Scooter, Angeles® Trikes.)
- Hopscotch Carpets (Ex. Hopscotch Play Carpet.)
- Balancing Activities (Ex. The Ride On Tortoise and Hare.)
- Jump Ropes – Double-Dutch and Elastic Jump Ropes promote social play!
- Teeter Totters (Ex. Our Red Rocker / Toddler Bridge.)
Outdoor Play Benefits
Children learn through experience. Exploring and playing outdoors furthers cognitive development through sensory experiences. Kids can’t experience the world via images only. This kind of learning requires time spent outdoors. For more information on outdoor-nature schools and summer programs visit Are Nature Schools Vogue or the New Gold Standard?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA) 2, outdoor play in the form of physical exercise benefits children in many areas:
- a healthy weight
- stronger, healthier bones and muscles
- better heart and brain health
- improved brain function, including memory, attention and problem-solving
- better school attendance and academic performance. (This is especially true in math, reading and writing.)
- lower long-term risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and some kinds of cancer
- less stress and fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression
- less inappropriate and distracting classroom behavior
- improved mental health and psychological well-being, including confidence and self-esteem
Sunlight provides an excellent source of Vitamin D. Building positive habits begins when children are toddlers. Therefore, it makes sense to take their advice when AHA recommends children spend at least 60 minutes every day participating in physical activities2. When we make active play a part of a child’s daily life, those lifelong habits become deeply ingrained.
Planning is Key
Outdoor play requires a bit of planning. For example, educators need to provide sunscreen and other accessories to ensure kids play in a safe environment. The Ball Cart will house all outdoor play necessities, not just balls and other play equipment.