Age Appropriate Playground Design
Designed for appropriate ages, abilities and environment.
At Play Mart, we recognize that playgrounds just aren't one-size-fits-all. Years ago, we created our Nature of Early Play product line specifically to fill a void in the field of outdoor play equipment for young children. An evident lack of appropriate equipment—for infants especially—prompted us to further expand the product line to offer an even wider range of equipment for infants.
When selecting equipment for your sites, please specify what age group (or groups) you will need to accommodate for each site and we will appropriately size each piece. We meet age-appropriate standards as defined by ASTM F-2373, ASTM F-1487 and CPSC guidelines.
Each product is sized carefully for the appropriate age group, considering height as well as physical coordination. Anthropomorphic research is used to develop equipment heights and sizing to meet or exceed guidelines for ASTM F2373 for children ages 6-23 months, and ASTM F1487 for children 2-5 years and children 5-12 years.
Through movement in safe environments, children gain awareness of their place in the physical world. Infants gain proprioceptive awareness and learn to pull up, sit up, and roll. Older kids learn coordination, reflex, and body movement.
Appropriate mental challenges for each age group. What challenges a 6-month-old mentally is very different from that of a 5-year-old or a 12-year-old. An infant can be mentally stimulated just turning a knob, whereas a 5-year-old would likely be unchallenged and bored, and a 12-year-old wouldn't give it a second glance. We have taken the time to incorporate a host of elements in our play equipment that encourages the mental acuity of children of all ages.
One of the most important goals of play time is stimulating all the senses at appropriate levels for each age group, without overstimulating. From subtle to bold, quiet to loud, simple to complex, each of our products offers a wide range of sensory experiences.
Children need to engage more than one of their senses during play to remain interested. Play Mart products are designed to delight all of a child’s senses including:
- Visual: bright and subtle color palettes (to avoid overstimulation) available on our play equipment
- Auditory System: musical equipment such as chimes, bells, drums
- Touch: sand and water products and our play sets with a variety of shapes and textures
- Olfactory System: digging in our Raised Garden Beds and growing plants or vegetables.
- Gustatory System or Taste: fresh veggie grown in one of our Greenhouse and Gardening pieces.
We design products appropriate for children of all ages including children with physical limitations. See our inclusive product offerings. An infant may be just learning to roll or stand up with support. Our infant equipment is geared towards tummy time, rolling, pulling up and crawling. Older kids need climbing, balancing, and more challenging physical activities like climbing on our Bouldering Wall or maneuvering across an overhead ladder on one of our Mega play systems like the Ashland.
Through play, children learn to engage with others in appropriate ways. Products that encourage cooperation stimulate social interactions. Social skills and imaginations flourish as they role-play adventures on themed playsets, and collaborate or race on activity panels, Wiggle Steppers, or swings.