Play forms a significant part of a child’s development process. Therefore, one must take care when selecting outdoor play equipment. It is essential to choose one that has the least probability of harming the child. It is also good to consider the age of children before purchasing play equipment because some fit certain age groups. In this paper, I will look at the features of basic child outdoor play equipment and get more information from the Internet on companies that retail such products. This will give me an opportunity to compare and select the best outdoor equipment for a child development center.
When selecting outdoor play equipment there are various factors that one needs to consider. This is mainly to ensure the children’s safety above all other reasons. One of the key features is the material. It is very unlikely that material that impresses a three year old will fit for a nine year old. It is also important to consider the material because of safety and durability. Plastic equipment lasts long because children at times play rough, metallic material increases the chances of injury when they play. It is essential to select a wooden one, with cedar and red wood topping the list of the best materials for outdoor play equipments. Wooden play equipment also tends to last longer than plastic thus making it better than the latter. Safety is the key feature. Therefore the play equipment should have safety features such as a thick layer of cushion mulch or shredded rubber to absorb falls when the children are playing. The size of equipment is also a key feature because of the spacing when in the field. The spacing should be such that an adult can clearly see all the children playing (Wild and Street 2013).
From the Internet search, I found three companies that offer outdoor play equipment. These are Walmart, Kompan and International Play Company. Walmart deals with a variety of outdoor play equipment such as Climbers and Slides, Bouncers and Ball Pits, Blaster Toys and NERF, Playhouses and Furniture, Sandboxes and Water Tables, Waterslides and Swimming Pools, Swing Sets and Trampolines. This firm offers these equipments at a discount and states that the equipments it retails are custom made for all. This is for the reason that they fall into different categories depending on the number of children and the age of the children (Walmart). Kompan stocks slides and small play tools such as themed play structures and sand pits and water play. The company states that its products aim at developing a child. This is through health, social inclusion, and learning (Kompan). This is the reason most of its products target the use of the brain unlike the equipments that Walmart sells. Finally, there is International Play Ground Company that deals with a wide variety of equipments and offers installation services to ensure children safety. The equipments in this shop range from seesaws to swims. This company argues that while the play equipments are of immense importance in a child’s development, safety is the most significant (International Play Ground Company).
Using the information from the sites the best basic outdoor play equipment for a small early childhood center is a discovery garden because children at this stage are curious and need to learn. It is also accessible to many children and can be useful for three classes of twenty children each. The structures for creating this include logs, stumps, and boulders and use of landscape in natural ways. It is essential to include other fun structures that add color to the design. These will be from manufacturers, but most of the structures should be natural. The $8000 budget will allow to purchase and install friendly playground offered by International Play Ground Company. The amount will cater for all the installment costs and the outdoor custom playground that ensures children’s safety. Children can easily access most of the natural materials required for the playground such as Manila papers top mark areas (Wild and Street 2013).
In conclusion, outdoor play offers children a good environment to interact with each other. This interaction improves their health and develops their social skills. It also helps them to learn and discover things. Hence, it is essential to provide children with the opportunity to play outdoors. However, because some are rough in their play, it is advisable to ensure the outdoor play is a safe for children. This way they do not injure themselves or hurt others.
International Play Ground Company. “Products”. Web. 1 July 2013. <http://www.internationalplayco.com/ >.
Kompan. “Products”. Web. 1 July 2013. <http://www.kompan.com/playground-equipment/>.
Walmart. “Play Equipments”. Web. 1 July 2013. <http://www.walmart.com/>.
Wild, Mary, and Alison Street. Themes and Debates in Early Childhood Play. Learning Matters, 2013. Print.