Running, jumping, climbing, and sliding are all the best parts of a playground. Pretending to be in a rocket ship, blasting off to the moon. Or driving a train full of passengers on a cross-country road trip. Chasing friends around the trees and swinging as high as the sky. Play is the best part of childhood.
Getting your kids outside is always nice. You can feel the warm sunshine on your face while listening to the birds chirping and children giggling. And those gentle breezes of a beautiful spring day — beautiful.
But unfortunately, we don’t all live where the sun shines bright every day and a wonderful park is just a short walk away.
So what can you do to bring more play into your child’s day? When you just can’t get to the playground, an indoor wooden playset is a great option. You can bring the fun and imagination of a park playground into your home. And with a quality playset, there are many benefits to enjoy.
The benefits of indoor playsets
There are many physical, emotional, and mental benefits that come from play. A child’s imagination can take off while their hands and bodies work and develop, creating a full learning experience.
Build young muscles
Growing healthy and strong requires lots of movement. Pulling, lifting, and climbing requires lots of different muscle groups to work together. As your child plays, they’ll grow, getting stronger with each race through the tunnel and trip down the slide.
Before long, you’ll notice them confidently performing new tricks that were too difficult just last month. They can climb one side of the Pikler triangle all by themself! Then next thing you know, they’ll turn themselves around at the top to make their way back down.
With an indoor playset, practice is always possible. Your child can work every day, figuring out how to position their little toes on climbing rocks to scale up the ramp. Moving one arm up, then the other. And finally one leg, then the next. They can maintain their grip, knuckles clenched tight. It may look labored at first, but they can do it! And they’ll continue to grow in skills and confidence each time they practice.
Increase balance and coordination
Climbing the rungs of the ladder is tricky work for a toddler, but great for practicing coordination. They may start slowly and carefully, but it won’t be long before they’re flying up. And once they get up to the top there’s even more to practice. Your child can work on balancing, swinging their legs around to then go down the slide. You watch them balance and then whoosh — down they go!
They can also practice their balancing skills while carefully teetering across a low balance beam. As they play, their confidence grows. You’ll see them wonder — Can I stand on one foot and balance?’ It’s amazing to watch them practice, slowly raising their foot higher and higher towards their knee. Suddenly they’re in some sort of yoga pose, holding their breath and not moving a muscle.
Get those wiggles out
On rainy or cold days, indoor playsets give your child a healthy way to get out all those wiggles and giggles. Instead of climbing over the back of your couch or running up and down the stairs, your child can safely explore climbing challenges, burning off all that crazy energy. It’s a safe space that’s all theirs to explore.
After spending time on their indoor playset, you may even find your child able to better focus on other tasks. Chores and dinnertime go much more smoothly after they’ve had a chance to climb and play. And art projects and reading time are more manageable when your child is not vibrating with extra energy.
Grow their confidence
Your child’s independence and self-esteem will blossom as they learn what their body is capable of. They really can accomplish anything when they set their mind to it. Through practice and play, they learn to persevere, asking for help only when they truly need it. You’ll always remember the day their eyes lit up as they finally completed that new skill all by themself! Amazing!
The best pieces to include in your indoor playset
While kids try to create play spaces with couch cushions and dining room chairs, there are other structures that can more safely support their play. Wooden play pieces are durable, lasting through years and years of play. And bonus — when done right they’re sustainable, earth-friendly, and free of harmful chemicals.
These wooden play structures are wonderful for open-ended, imaginative play. None of them lock a child into only one specific way to play. Your child’s interests can influence their play world, turning a climbing structure into a mountain top, pirate ship, dollhouse, or fort.
Here are our four favorite indoor play structures for toddlers and preschoolers.
The Pikler triangle is a Montessori staple, and it’s arguably the most popular indoor playset piece because of its versatility. It can be used to practice climbing skills or can be incorporated with other pieces to create a challenging obstacle course.
When you place a Pikler triangle in your child’s room, who knows what it will become! Maybe it will transform into a tent, creating fun camping adventures in your living room! Or your child may turn it into a tunnel, zooming race cars under it. Then watch as it becomes a fire station for your firefighter child to spend his day in while waiting for the next call. No matter their interests, your child can find joy with this climber.
This is a favorite piece for many children, from toddler to elementary ages. The Waldorf rocker is extremely versatile. Set it up as a rocker, or flip it over to create a climbing arch. The rocker can become a bus or a pirate ship. And the arch makes the perfect hill to race over and under. You can even flip it on its side for a cute diner-style countertop. Set it up and watch your child climb over it, crawl under it, and slide down it for hours.
A perfectly fitted pillow can transition this play piece into a calming spot for quiet time, or help it become a rocker for helping put their baby doll to sleep. If you have an extra large rocker, pull it into the living room for the perfect place to snuggle up and watch a movie together.
Looking for a climber and tunnel combo for your toddler? Try a wooden play cube. Let them explore it from all sides, or crank up the imaginative play. Try throwing a blanket over one side for a perfect hideout. Or create a secret tunnel that leads to a magical place.
Your play cube can be a cozy nook to read a book in or a car wash that makes each toy vehicle sparkly clean as it rolls through. Your child can climb on top for the best seat on the double-decker bus or be the lookout on a pirate ship.
Children can practice all the skills that go into climbing up, scooting across the top, and then waclimbing down the other side with this space-saving piece.
Ramps and Slides
Wheee! Watch your child go up and down, up and down, over and over all day long with the help of a ramp and slide. With these pieces that are perfectly sized for little ones, it won’t take long before they’re doing it all by themselves. And that’s great — independent play is essential for healthy development, and an indoor playset gives them plenty of chances to safely explore on their own.
Your child can race cars, trucks, and balls down the slide. Which goes faster, the big one or the small one? The red one or the blue one? Can a block roll down? While they experiment, their little brains are soaking in so much new information about gravity and physics — but to them, it’s simply playing. And it’s the best kind of learning for growing their minds.
Ramps and slides pair perfectly with Pikler triangles, arches, or play cubes. Combine these pieces to easily create a whole playset your child will love for years to come.
Encourage play with indoor playsets and bring learning to life
Your child’s imagination is the only limit to the number of ways these versatile play pieces can be used. Set up your child’s playroom or living room with beautiful wooden play structures and watch your child flourish as they enjoy all the benefits an indoor playset offers.
It’s time to play!