NPPS recommends adults be proactive in selecting age appropriate equipment. Playground environments should be planned for different ages of children.
- 6 months through 23 months
- 2 to 5 years
- 5 to 12 years.
Children are developmentally different in size and ability. These areas should be marked by signage indicating the age-appropriate areas. Consider the following factors when selecting equipment in order to help make play areas developmentally appropriate, more enjoyable, and safer for children.
Ages: 6 months - 23 months
Play areas for children 6 months through 23 months should offer places where children can have space to move and explore. Appropriate play areas for this group should provide places to crawl, stand, and walk.
Ages: 2-5 years
Play areas for children ages 2-5 should offer areas with smaller steps and crawl spaces. Appropriate play areas for children ages 2 - 5 could include Play areas for children ages 2-5 should offer areas with smaller steps and crawl spaces. Appropriate play areas for children ages 2 - 5 could include: areas to crawl; low platforms with multiple access such as ramps and ladders; ramps with pieces attached for grasping; low tables for sand, water and manipulation of materials; tricycle paths with various textures; flexible spring rockers; sand areas with covers; and shorter slides (usually no taller than 4 feet).
Ages: 5-12 years
Developmentally appropriate play areas for school-age children could include: rope or chain climbers on angles; climbing pieces; horizontal bars; cooperative pieces such as tire swings, slides and sliding poles; and open spaces to run and play ball.