Preschool children should play outdoors as often as possible. Each day, preschoolers should have at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity.
According to the National Association of the Education of Young Children, the key features of an outdoor play space include developmentally appropriate play areas that promote a range of experiences for children. Children display the highest levels of physical activity on playgrounds that have a combination of manufactured equipment and natural materials. All the materials and equipment in the play space should be age appropriate for the children who use it, to ensure safety and maximum skill development.
Play structures with swings, ladders and slides are appropriate for preschoolers. Preschoolers should also have access to a variety of balls, tricycles and bicycles. Play houses, hula hoops, jump ropes and plastic bats are also appealing to this age group. Natural space to run and explore can also promote active play. In warmer weather, sand and water play areas, sprinklers and wading pools also foster learning and fun.
Preschoolers have lots of energy and love to explore. Children’s magnifying glasses, binoculars, nets and buckets for gathering bugs and rocks will encourage nature exploration. Taking nature walks with preschoolers will also provide lots of natural learning opportunities.