Sending the kids out for recess gives them that chance to burn off their energy and enjoy the outdoor playground. But what happens when the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor playground use and the kids are trapped inside. Any teacher will attest to just how tough the day can be when kids aren’t given that chance to run around and play. This is exactly why there is a push for indoor playground equipment for schools.
For school boards that are located in areas where it gets cold in the winter, there is even more need for an indoor playground. Those days where it’s cold, windy, and icy, kids can stay safe and warm inside while still playing and having fun. It’s really no wonder that principals, teachers, and parents are quickly discovering just how wonderful this option can be.
What Does an Indoor Playground Look Like?
You may be surprised to learn just how similar an indoor playground looks to an outdoor one. Obviously space is a big factor in what the indoor version will look like, but other than that there are no constraints on how it can look.
A typical indoor playground can include some sort of climbing structure, tunnels, a slide, maybe swings of some sort, and foam equipment. It’s not unusual to find foam blocks, animals, and shapes that kids can play with.
As well the surface area around the playground can be made of foam so that kids have a soft surface to play and run on.
Where Can I Use this Indoor Playground?
Because an indoor playground is customizable, they are starting to pop up in classrooms, libraries, and the school gym. No matter how big or small the space may be there are indoor options that you can work with to create that perfect fun spot for the kids.
If you don’t have enough space indoors, another option is to build the playground outdoors but with a shelter/roof over it. These offer protection from rain, snow, sleet, wind, and sun. If you build the playground close to the doors, then kids can head directly for the shelter when they go outside.
The Planning Process
The best thing to do if you are interested in purchasing indoor playground equipment for schools is to contact a professional supplier that is able to provide the product and help with the planning. The very first step in the process should be the design phase. This is when you take a look at where you plan on placing the structure, the space you are dealing with, and how you plan to make it safe for the kids to use.
Speaking to the safety factor be sure to look into your state’s rules and regulations regarding indoor playgrounds. You want to be sure you follow all the rules to avoid having to take things out after the fact.
It’s important to consider the ages of the children using the playground, as this will determine what sort of structures/toys/features you want to include. Typically, kids ages seven and older look for different types of playgrounds than the younger ones.
Another aspect of the planning process is setting your budget. It’s a good idea to already have a set budget so then the provider can let you know what this will accommodate. In some cases, you may even be able to purchase refurbished equipment at a discounted price.
While it’s great to have a structure in the playground, keep in mind if you are tight on space the foam toys and items can offer up plenty of fun too. This can save a lot of money on the budget as well.
You’ll also want to make sure you think about the surface options for your indoor playground. You may want to use mats, rubber, or some other form of surfacing. Proper surfacing is recommended as it acts like a safety precaution should there be any falls. Typically, the surfaces are slip-resistant too, so the amount of potential falls is greatly decreased.
Keep in mind what you see in outdoor playgrounds as the surface isn’t always suitable in an indoor setting.
It’s Important to Give Kids Indoor Options
By building an indoor playground for kids you’re giving them options even on those less than ideal days outdoors. It provides them with a fun, safe, and healthy way to get their energy out and engage in creative play. Let’s not forget how great it is for their fine and gross motor skills as well!