Middle School Playgrounds

Fun times at the playground don’t have to end with elementary school! While playground equipment is often geared toward young kids, there’s a place for middle school students on the playground, too. Kids aged 11 to 14 have a lot to glean from the benefits of playtime, yet they often miss out because equipment is designed with smaller children in mind.

By providing play structures that are more physically and mentally challenging, you can offer a space that encourages middle school students to stay active, have fun with their peers, and overcome challenging physical obstacles. Perhaps most importantly, you can foster an atmosphere of play that promotes outdoor discovery and physical activity among older kids as well as the younger ones.

At Little Tikes Commercial, we understand the value of play for kids of all ages and abilities. That’s why we design and create middle school playground equipment with older kids in mind. Now everyone can get in on the fun!

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Middle School Playgrounds

The Importance of Play in Middle School

When young children play, it’s easy to see the benefits of a playground. As children learn to use their legs and arms and gain control over their bodies, we can see their minds and bodies hard at work as they play. Do the benefits end with elementary school? Absolutely not! Middle school students have a lot to learn from the playground as well.

Engaging with others on the playground is essential for kids. Children, even those in middle school, learn and grow with opportunities to play, getting essential benefits like the following:

Physical Development

Playgrounds provide a place that’s all about having fun in an active, healthy way. Kids are encouraged to enjoy the fresh air and soak in some vitamin D while discovering the outdoors, all within the safe design of a playground. Outdoor fitness opportunities abound, from climbing and bouldering to pull-up and chin-up bars. As they climb, lift, push, and pull, they’ll develop upper body strength and balance while taking control of their physical education.

At this age, it’s important to establish healthy exercise habits that they’ll carry with them into high school and beyond. What better way to do this than on the playground? Staying active on the playground can also be a great precursor to middle school kids getting active with sports in high school. They’ll develop stamina, flexibility, hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and strength on the playground, and they’ll take those skills with them to extracurricular activities.

Cognitive Development

Middle school playground time allows students to develop their motor skills, coordination, and critical thinking abilities further. These skills were likely a large part of their early childhood, but without continued structured play, children often lack opportunities to keep developing these cognitive abilities. A playground that meets their level and size will allow them to build on their cognitive development and make creative and critical thinking choices that are age-appropriate.

The preteen and early teen years are an essential time to develop those cognitive skills. As kids age, they’ll face plenty of decisions, from minor to difficult. Playing outside and interacting with middle school playground equipment can challenge kids’ minds in a safe and low-stakes environment. They can then engage with their creativity, imagination, and critical thinking in fun ways without even realizing it.

Using play equipment can also give middle school kids a much-needed break from school day stress. They’ll engage their mind on the playground and practice being attentive in a fun environment. That can help them focus when they return to the classroom. Middle schoolers will also bring other cognitive skills, like problem-solving, into the classroom from the playground.

Social Development

Playgrounds are social places. Kids learn instinctively how to share, wait, communicate, and collaborate as they play together on each playground structure. With larger playground equipment, they’ll likely find themselves actively working as a group. This may entail challenging each other in obstacles or playing together as a group as they try to solve a challenge.

Middle school students benefit from places that allow them to make friends and interact with peers. They’ll develop essential social skills like cooperation and patience, and they’ll learn how to share, resolve conflict, and take turns. With Little Tikes Commercial playgrounds, which are designed to be inclusive for children of all abilities, kids will become accepting of diversity, as well.

Accessible middle school playground equipment teaches middle schoolers essential lessons of inclusivity. Whether they actively notice it or take in the information passively, middle schoolers will realize how essential thoughtful design is throughout varying aspects of life. They’ll see that taking others of different abilities into account creates a more connected world — a valuable lesson for anyone of any age.

Sensory Development

Outdoor play offers a feast for the senses, but middle schoolers may not have as many opportunities as younger kids do to play outside. Middle school students can benefit from rediscovering the magic of outside, allowing their senses to come to life through the various textures, sights, sounds, and smells of the playground and the world around them. In a world that’s becoming more isolated due to technology, playgrounds bring activity and engagement to kids at this vital developmental age.

Emotional Development

The preteen and early teen years can be challenging for many middle schoolers, and emotional development is critical. Whether they use play equipment on their own or with their peers, middle schoolers engage with activities that boost their emotional growth. They’ll explore new environments, try new things, and make new friends, which helps them be more confident.

Confidence is crucial to the emotional health of a child, particularly in middle school as kids prepare to enter adolescence. Social competency, friendships, and physical health are key components of developing confidence. As kids play together, they become comfortable interacting with others and learn emotional strengths such as teamwork, communication, and overcoming fears. Outdoor play lends itself effortlessly to this type of emotional development.

Playing outside also gives middle schoolers the opportunity to divert negative feelings into positive activities. Being outside and exercising can lessen anxiety and improve self-esteem, helping students correlate getting fresh air to positive feelings.

Middle School Playgrounds

Middle School Playground Equipment Options

A playground designed with middle school students in mind won’t use the same equipment as a typical playground. Playgrounds for older kids require an increased challenge, with heightened play structures and outdoor fitness equipment designed for active play. At Little Tikes Commercial, we’ve created an array of middle school recess equipment designed specifically for bigger hands, stronger bodies, and heavier weights. Each of our middle school playground structures is durable and constructed with the highest quality materials. Our choices include:

  • Vertical ladder: This challenging vertical ladder can be installed as a stand-alone structure or as part of a collection. Middle school students can get valuable leg and arm exercise from climbing and balancing.
  • “S” challenge ladder: This piece of overhead equipment gives kids the chance to develop upper body strength as they navigate the “S” ladder or practice chin-ups.
  • 3-D rock challenge: The 3-D rock challenge structure offers a safe yet challenging introduction to rock climbing, offering sizable footholds and hand grips for stability while giving them a chance to practice their climbing abilities.
  • 10-foot cargo net: Our cargo nets are the perfect ingredient for sports like soccer or hockey. Add this fitness equipment for playground solutions older kids will love.

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Middle School Playgrounds

How Little Tikes Commercial Can Meet Your Needs

Little Tikes Commercial is a loud and proud advocate of the developmental value of play. We believe that playtime is an essential part of a child’s mental, emotional, cognitive, and social growth. That’s why we’re committed to creating inclusive playgrounds that provide these opportunities for children of all abilities and ages. Our play structures are fun, engaging, and purposefully created to challenge kids to reach their potential.

We’re big believers in tailoring our products to your needs. Our custom playground options allow you to design the best space for you and the children who will use it. We’ll help you create the playground you need, from the nitty-gritty details of color options to the big-picture essentials, like choosing the right playground equipment for older students.

Our competitive pricing, leasing, and financing options help ensure our products are affordable without ever compromising our standards. Each of our products is designed with premium engineering to ensure longevity and quality you can count on. After all, installing a new playground is an investment in the future. And with our long-lasting and durable materials, you can be sure it’s an investment that will last for many years to come.

Middle School Playgrounds

Contact Us Today to Discover More

Interested in incorporating playground structures into a school, park, or urban area? Little Tikes Commercial is here to help. As a trusted supplier of playground equipment, we’ve gained a reputation for designing durable, safe, and fun structures that stand the test of time. To learn more, request a quote online.

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