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Whether it's for climbing, sliding, playing, or pretending, outdoor play structures remain the number one attraction for many children. Whether it's the structures at your local playground or the ones in your yard, these "beasts" are popular with children of all ages.
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of their presence. Every time children climb a play structure or use a swing, they are developing gross motor skills.
What can exploring a play structure teach children? Among other things, they can:
What makes outdoor play structures extraordinary is the fact that it can be difficult for children to develop gross motor skills indoors, where they often have little room to move. Children don't normally have a lot of opportunities to climb indoors. I therefore encourage you to provide children with the chance to explore outdoor play structures as often as possible to help them acquire various abilities that play an important role in their overall development.
Although outdoor play structures are often used during periods of free play, they can also be used for structured play.
Here are a few ideas:
These simple ideas will help you use outdoor play structures more. I am sure you have other ideas too. Put them to the test and enjoy summer!
Maude Dubé, Specialized educator
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