Sensory play doesn’t have to take place in a specially built sensory room. Children can also enjoy sensory play in the great outdoors, especially if you have the very best stimulating playground equipment.
In this blog, we’re going to outline the benefits of creating a sensory outdoor play area and share our favourite stimulating playground equipment.
What Is A Sensory Outdoor Play Area?
A sensory outdoor play area is an area of the school or nursery playground that has been designed specifically to help children develop their senses.
Stimulating playground equipment, such as a mud kitchen or activity table are put in place to help children grow and learn through sight, sound, touch and smell.
How Can Stimulating Playground Equipment Benefit Children?
A sensory outdoor play area with stimulating playground equipment has a number of key benefits for children of all ages and abilities.
- Stimulating playground equipment supports the development of language and communication skills whilst improving a child’s ability to interact in a social setting.
- Playground equipment that stimulates the senses also helps build nerve connections within the brain. This enables a child to take on more complex learning challenges and enhance their problem-solving skills.
- It supports the development of cognitive growth as well as improving gross and fine motor skills.
- Stimulating playground equipment and sensory play areas are particularly great at calming and comforting anxious children and enabling them to self-regulate.
A sensory play area with stimulating equipment is a fantastic addition to any school or nursery and will have a positive impact on the development and growth of all children. Sensory play areas are particularly beneficial to children who have sensory processing disorders.
According to a 2013 study, around 16% of all children struggle to process senses. Plus, the large majority of children with autism also struggle with sensory processing. In fact, The STAR institute suggests that 75% of children with autism have “significant symptoms of sensory processing disorder.”
Stimulating Playground Equipment For A Sensory Outdoor Play Area
Here at Discovering Days, we design and build high-quality wooden playground equipment. We have a range of stimulating playground equipment that’s perfect for creating a sensory outdoor play area.
Our outdoor activity panels are large stand alone units that offer so many opportunities for stimulating play. Perhaps opt for the Weaving Board and attach a variety of materials to it including ribbon, tinsel, feather boas or even pinecone garlands.
Alternatively, encourage the children to use problem-solving skills with the water wall. Or go traditional with an outdoor blackboard.
Safe Haven Wooden Teepee
The safe haven wooden tepee is exactly that, a safe haven for children who struggle with anxiety or sensory overload. A noisy playground with lots of children running around can be overwhelming for some children. So, a quiet retreat, such as a wooden teepee is a great addition to a playground.
Decorate the inside of the teepee with soft coloured solar-powered lights to turn it into a magical safe space.
We have a large selection of solid, well-made and stylish mud kitchens. An outdoor mud kitchen encourages children to get their hands dirty and experience the feel of lots of natural materials, including mud, twigs, wet sand and crunchy leaves.
The use of various kitchen utensils supports the development of fine motor skills, whilst the imaginative role play improves language and communication skills.
When it comes to stimulating playground equipment, a sandpit is a classic! Children of all ages love playing with sand. It encourages them to explore their sense of touch and use their imagination to build shapes with different tools.
Outdoor Activity Tables
Outdoor activity tables offer so much opportunity for sensory play. They can be filled with an array of materials such as water, jelly, coloured sand, pebbles and mud. Activity tables encourage children to explore and develop their senses, especially touch, visual and audible.
Get In Touch To Create A Sensory Outdoor Play Area
If you are looking for stimulating playground equipment or would like more tips for creating a sensory outdoor play area, we can help. At Discovering Days, we design, and manufacture quality outdoor playground equipment.
Our wide range of wooden playground equipment is made with love and care to ensure the utmost safety and durability. We also pride ourselves on meeting all playground equipment safety standards.
You can contact us here for more information or you can call us on 01282 416 755 to discuss any of our products.
Our staff are all fully trained in the design and manufacture of wooden play equipment for children and are experts in understanding what works best in the space you have. We have worked with a range of schools in the past and understand the challenges that come with creating playground equipment for children of all abilities.