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Time For Recess: 3 Signs Of A Quality Child Care Program Playground

There is no doubt about it. Kids love playing outside, and their shouts of joy can be heard clear across the neighborhood when they are let out of their classrooms for recess. In child care centers, outdoor areas are definitely favored by children, and your child gets the opportunity to build their gross motor skills while socializing with their friends as they run, climb and slide. While your child is just having fun, every activity has been carefully planned to stimulate their development while keeping them safe. As you explore a potential new child care center, here are the things you should look for that demonstrate a commitment to making this one of the most educational and safe parts of a child's day.

Check for Fall Zone Materials in Climbing Areas

As every parent and child knows, it sometimes takes falling to learn a new skill. Child care programs are aware that children may not always be able to successfully execute a climb up a ladder or maintain their balance as they go down a slide. For this reason, you will see cushioning materials located beneath playground equipment that involves playing at a certain height. Rubber mulch, wood chips and rubber floor coverings are a few types of fall zone materials that give you that extra reassurance that your child will have some cushioning should they have a minor accident while they play.

Expect to See a Variety of Activities

Outside time should always include multiple options for kids to develop their skills. While some kids will stick to the playground, others may prefer quieter types of play. For this reason, you should see teachers bring other materials outdoors such as paint, sidewalk chalk or books. Having an option for everyone promotes independence and encourages a love for nature among children who may be intimidated by boisterous play.

Watch For Constant Adult Interaction

When you were in school, your teachers may have gathered on the edges of the playground to chat about the latest events of the day. However, child care professionals now understand the importance of adult interaction. As the kids play, you should see teachers offering words of encouragement or praise to a child who masters a new skill. They may even be involved in a ball game as they demonstrate the importance of teamwork. This high level of engagement also increases playground safety since your child's teacher is constantly aware of their surroundings.

When you ask about your child's day, they will likely have tons of stories about what they did on the playground. From riding tricycles to climbing ladders and learning how to kick a ball, outside experiences provide many stimulating opportunities for increasing a child's skills. Making sure that your child care program has established a safe and exciting playground will give you assurance that even play time is a learning time that benefits every child.