Mounds of Fun with our Playground Landscaping! The Benefits of Playground Mounds and Landscaping
In recent months, we’ve had more and more enquiries coming in from schools and nurseries about surface landscaping - and in particular, our fun, innovative, handmade Playground Mounds and Ramped Sandpits.
Why are they so popular?
Our Product Design Team carries out extensive research to develop our products, working with teachers, SENCOs, EYFS leaders and nursery managers to create products to improve educational and developmental play experiences for each of your children.
What benefits do playground mounds and landscaping bring to your playground?
Playgrounds that feature contrasting levels and contours for children to explore bring a new dimension to outdoor play and learning.
They offer a far richer developmental landscape, providing a higher play value than a playground where a child’s range of physical motion isn’t quite so challenged. And whatever a child’s age, anything in the playground that encourages them to explore their adventurous side is a positive thing!
1. Bring level changes and intriguing contours to your playground
Both our Playground Mounds and Ramped Sandpits create landform, bringing level changes and intriguing contours to your outdoor learning environment.
Our Ramped Sandpits can be ready to go immediately as they sit on your existing playground surface. Our Playground Mounds are bespoke, securely sculpted by hand as formations within the underlying surfacing itself.
They’re covered in our beautiful, textured, all-weather Playturf Artificial Grass for schools and nurseries.
The new perspective and vertical interest that they offer encourage children to climb, and younger children in particular love to race up and roll down them.
These are seemingly simple movements and activities, but they’re great for developing gross motor skills, lower body strength and coordination and a whole host of other skills.
2. Understanding how the body works
Climbing, rolling and sliding up and down ramps and mounds helps children to build body awareness and is good for developing proprioception.
To engage in these types of activities successfully, children have to know where their body parts are in space and in relation to the rest of their body and how to use them. Navigating ramps and mounds allows them to test themselves out and discover what they can do!
With practice, younger children will find themselves starting to learn and fully understanding positional language and concepts as they play.
3. Inspire crawling and motor development
Crawling is one of the first motor-development milestones that a baby reaches. Children become truly mobile when they crawl for the first time. It takes time to master the skill, but once they begin, there’s no looking back!
They soon start to climb over small objects such as toys on the floor and before you know it, they’re pulling themselves up and trying to tackle the stairs. This can be a challenging but exciting time for them and for their parents.
Allowing crawling babies to explore the contours of more gently sloping Playground Mounds in a nursery garden gives them the essential, regular practice that they need in a safe environment.
It helps them to build and strengthen all of their muscles, particularly with gentle up-and-down changes and develop coordination and confidence - preparing them perfectly for the next developmental stages of standing up and sitting down independently, finding their feet and eventually walking.
4. Taking risks and problem-solving
Playing on ramps and mounds encourages problem-solving and predicting what’s going to happen next.
Children have to ask themselves questions like “How much effort do I need to put in to get to the top? Do I use both hands as well as my feet? How will I get down again? Can I get up and down in different ways? What will happen if I run down too fast? And do I dare to try it?!”
This opens their minds up to more flexible thinking across different playground activities and learning back in the classroom.
Steeper mounds are ideal for supporting children as they learn to assess risk and danger for themselves and work out how to manage and take risks safely - these are all important life skills!
The top of a Playground Mound is also a popular spot for older children to meet, socialise, rest and relax - or use as a “base” for active games. Because they are handmade, we can create them in any area of your school or nursery playground and to the width, length and height to suit your pupils and your plans for their use.
5. Developing fine motor skills and co-ordination
A Ramped Sandpit is a fantastic EYFS resource as it incorporates all of these important physical activities with some excellent messy and sensory play opportunities. You can keep the lid in place to create a large “hill” mound with a platform at the top for children to crawl, climb, roll and jump from.
Remove the lid and open up a fabulous sensory reward at the top of the hill, where children can explore and investigate as they scoop, sprinkle, dig and build in the sand.
Small world play and sorting activities are well-placed in a Ramped Sandpit!
The contrast in surface texture, from the soft Artificial Grass edges with a flat, solid base, to the uneven, malleable sand at the top, helps children to develop smaller muscles and fine motor skills and co-ordination.
Equally, Playground Mounds are wonderful for setting up role play areas - we have seen them turned into farmland, zoos and safari plains with little animals roaming the grasslands, imaginary mountains for favourite toy figures to ski, climb and abseil and desert dunes for toy trucks to bump and race across!
Would you like to bring a new dimension to your nursery garden or school playground?
At Pentagon, we have been creating incredible playgrounds for schools and nurseries for over 20 years. Please do not hesitate to Contact Us Here if you would like a free, no-obligation, playground consultation with one of our education experts.