Benefits of Playground Slides
Look at almost any playground, and you’ll find one common feature — slides. And if kids are on the playground, you’re sure to see them sliding and having fun. From spiral tunnels to double-wide varieties, slides make a playground look complete and enticing.
That interest alone could be reason enough to include slides in your playground, but you may wonder if there are other benefits of playground slides. Below, you’ll learn what makes slides so appealing, along with the advantages they bring to your playground and the kids who use it.
What Makes Slides So Inviting to Children?
Take a child to a playground, and most of the time, they’ll head for one thing first — the slides. So why do kids love slides? This piece of playground equipment gives children an interactive structure that provides the following qualities.
An Invigorating Experience
Kids love the rush of sliding from one level of a play structure to the bottom. The breeze in their faces and the swift movement are so exciting that they’ll eagerly climb back to the top and slide down again. Slides are thrilling, giving kids an exhilarating experience unique from what other playground components can offer.
Once a child climbs a structure to reach the top of the slide, it’s only a matter of sitting and heading down to have fun. That immediate rush makes slides appealing to kids. Other playground equipment may require extra effort before the fun begins. Swings, for instance, need a few minutes of building momentum to reach an exciting height. Slides are quick ways to enjoy a playground, and that makes them worth using again and again for kids.
Slides come in a wide array of styles. From short, straight, and fast slides to winding tunnels, there are many options, and kids love variety in play. They’ll slide down different styles and try to find their favorite experience. Some kids enjoy the mystery of covered tube slides, while others prefer the rush of a sleek, straight slide. Select from various slides for playgrounds to suit those different preferences.
A Less Intimidating Option
Not every child can swing across monkey bars or climb specific equipment, but many children can slide. Slides are less intimidating than other structures, making them inviting for kids of various levels of curiosity and bravery. Shorter styles will provide this benefit of slides the most, creating another reason to offer kids different play equipment in one space.
An Accessible Option
Depending on the type of slide you use in your playground, it can provide an accessible play option for some children. Kids with cochlear implants, for instance, need to avoid activities that produce static electricity. An electrostatic discharge can damage cochlear implant equipment, and sliding on a plastic slide can create this phenomenon. Stainless steel slides are an accessible alternative for children with cochlear implants, since the material doesn’t create a static charge. Offering a stainless steel slide at your playground will make it inviting for more kids.
Developmental Benefits of Playground Slides
Outdoor play itself provides developmental benefits for kids. When you include slides in a playground, children get even more from their time outside. Consider these advantages of slides for kids’ development.
Offer Unstructured Play
Kids thrive with unstructured time to play, learn, and experience the world. Also called free play, unstructured play gives children the chance to interact with their environment without predetermined guidelines. With slides for playgrounds, the fun form of movement will appeal to kids and encourage them to play without a schedule or rules. They’ll head to the slides during their recess free time or after-school play. With that free play comes improvements in cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.
Engage the Senses
Sliding can benefit children’s senses, but not the five you’re familiar with. Beyond smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing, we have proprioception and vestibular systems. Proprioception lets us know our bodies’ position and where they are in space. Vestibular systems are also called balance systems, and they help receive information about how our bodies move and how fast they move.
Playground slides work these senses. Kids get a better sense of their position and location as they slide, using proprioception. Sliding also helps develop the vestibular system as kids move swiftly down a slide and come to a stop. Their vestibular systems process that information, and sliding can help improve a child’s balance, as well.
Movement and exercise release endorphins. These neurotransmitters are responsible for making us feel good by reducing our stress and improving our mood. This positive impact affects kids as they play, going from one slide to another and climbing to reach the next slide. With a boost in activity and endorphins, kids may experience:
- Increased self-confidence
- Lower symptoms of mild anxiety
- A relaxed and calm feeling
- Improved sleep
If multiple children are on the playground at once, they already have an opportunity to socialize. But playground slides, in particular, can facilitate communication and cooperation.
Kids who want to use the same slide will learn the value of taking turns and communicating with their peers as they get in line. They can get used to the idea of being polite and waiting for someone else before taking their turn, talking to their peer once they reach the bottom of the slide. They’ll also practice patience as they wait, learning social norms.
Some slides for playgrounds encourage children to engage in friendly competition. A double-entry set of two slides or a set with multiple sliding paths encourages kids to race down the slides with their peers. They’ll collaborate to start simultaneously, perhaps involving other kids to begin the race and determine a winner.
Kids are naturally inquisitive, and seeing a new slide inspires curiosity. They could be eager to climb to the top and use the equipment to experience something new. They’ll experiment as they navigate a play structure to reach the slide of their choice.
Tunnel slides can also add a hint of mystery. A winding tunnel slide hides the bottom of the equipment, encouraging kids to slide down to feel the twists and turns.
Those forms of exploration can then inspire confidence. Kids will practice bravery as they take on a new slide. When they succeed at using the equipment and realize how much fun they had, they’ll feel confident in repeating the adventure.
Teach Cause and Effect
Learning cause and effect engages children with the idea that every action has consequences. When playing on a slide, kids will learn that sitting down on the equipment will cause them to slide to the bottom. It may not be an obvious skill kids absorb and actively think about, but they’ll engage with it nonetheless.
Cause and effect, or causality, teaches kids that deeds result in outcomes, whether those are positive or negative. Through play, they’ll begin to understand cause-and-effect relationships around them. That could benefit more complicated lessons of causality about the emotions and responses of their peers.
Playing on a slide may involve more choices than you would expect. The first decision kids need to make when presented with various slides is which they’ll pick. Whether there is a singular ladder to the top or a play structure, kids will then decide how to climb. They will consider where to place their hands and feet as they ascend.
Once a child reaches the top of a slide, they will choose how they head down the structure. Will they sit and slide down gently, or will they try to push themselves to gain some speed? When kids engage with these decision-making steps, they’ll develop skills that help them become more decisive and confident.
Browse Playground Slides From Little Tikes Commercial
Want to provide the benefits of playground slides to kids who visit your recreational area? Get the components you need with Little Tikes Commercial. We champion the developmental value of outdoor play, and we want to get kids excited about the Magic Outside. We accomplish this through inclusive and safe playground equipment that encourages kids to play, explore, and have fun.
At Little Tikes Commercial, we offer a variety of slides to suit your playground design. Browse playground slides from Little Tikes Commercial or find a representative to learn more about these play area components.