As soon as an infant’s vision develops the ability to focus they start wanting to reach out, touch, grasp, move and manipulate objects in the world around them. At first these attempts are quite uncoordinated and the infant needs to follow with their eyes the movements of their hands in order to control them.
As the child grows into Toddlerhood their vision continues to develop and they gain the ability to direct their vision, focus better, use their eyes together to judge distances and direct their hands to an object.
These are important skills and children continue to develop, enhance and improve them to eventually take on more and more complex tasks, such as writing or using electronic devices. By the age of eight or nine most children have developed sufficient skills to enable them to deal competently with commonplace, complex, manual tasks.
All the while they have been developing their hand-eye coordination, their motor skills have been developing too. Fine motor skills give us the ability, through the activation of small muscle groups, to manipulate objects to carry out more intricate tasks, whereas gross motor skills give us the ability to walk, run, jump, balance, climb, push and pull.
It is in the Toddler/Preschool/ Pre-K/Kindergarten and Elementary stages that Schoolscapes can help you provide opportunities for children to rapidly advance these vital skills, through interaction with playground structures designed to be challenging and enjoyable.
Take for example the Adventure Course: the activities involved in this range of items all take place just above ground level. The child has the thrill of having climbed off the ground and is now presented with a varying series of structures where they can get from one end to the other in different ways: by grasping, balancing, stepping, jumping and swinging. To complete the course, they must use hand-eye coordination, depth perception, decision making, risk perception, balance and strength. The more of this kind of activity they engage in, the more these skills improve.
Of course, there are children whose abilities are impaired in one or more ways – many of these children can benefit from assisted use of an Adventure Course as part of a therapeutic program.
Children who are unable to use an Adventure Course can still experience movement above ground level in the complementary range of Bird’s Nest Swings that safely position the child in a comfortable, wide, dished, hammock or basket shaped swing – the Bird’s Nest! The range of swing movement is limited to avoid the danger of a child falling out – without the need for security straps.
Schoolscapes has a great range of Adventure Course and other, related, play structures to choose from. We welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your needs. Please follow the above links to our website and fill out an inquiry form there – or call us on 315-906-0050 if you would like more information on this, or any other, range of playground equipment.