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Why Your Outdoor Playground Needs Cognitive Play

If you have children, you know that playing is essential to their development. But what type of play is the best for them? Outdoor playgrounds provide a variety of play opportunities, but cognitive play should be a focus when designing or renovating your playground. This type of play helps strengthen your children’s skills while they are playing. In this article, we will go into more detail about cognitive play and all the benefits it provides. We will also discuss how you can add cognitive play elements to your outdoor playground. So, if you’re ready to give your children an amazing playground experience, keep reading!

What is Cognitive Play?

Cognitive play is a type of play that helps children develop their thinking and problem-solving skills. When children are engaged in cognitive play, they are actively trying to make sense of their surroundings. This type of play is important because it helps children understand cause and effect relationships. So it’s important to ensure your outdoor playground has elements that allow children to use cognitive play.

Benefits of Cognitive Play

There are many benefits associated with cognitive play. Here are just a few:

Helps Children Develop Problem-Solving Skills

Cognitive play gives children the opportunity to practice solving problems. As they play, they will encounter obstacles and figure out how to overcome them. This helps children develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Encourages Creativity

When children are engaged in cognitive play, they are using their imaginations and creativity. This type of play allows children to explore new ideas and experiment with different solutions.

Improves Motor Skills

Outdoor playgrounds that focus on cognitive play can also help improve motor skills. This is because children will be using their bodies to explore and interact with their environment. They will be climbing, jumping, and moving around, which can all help improve motor skills.

Teaches Children How to Think Critically

Outdoor playgrounds that encourage cognitive play help to teach children how to think critically.  They will learn to ask questions and examine their options before making a decision. This type of thinking is essential for future success.

Strengthens Memory & Concentration

Outdoor playgrounds that encourage cognitive play can also help to strengthen memory and concentration. They will be actively engaged in their surroundings, which will help them remember what they see and do.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you should add cognitive play elements to your outdoor playground. Not only will it help your children have fun, but it will also help them develop important skills that they can use in their everyday lives.

How to Add Cognitive Play Elements to Your Outdoor Playground

Now that you know all the benefits of cognitive play, you might be wondering how you can add cognitive play elements to your outdoor playground. Here are a few ideas:

Puzzles or Games: Adding puzzles and games are a great way to help them develop problem-solving skills. You can find puzzles and games that are specifically designed for outdoor playgrounds, like our activity panels and adventure tables.

Climbing Equipment: Climbing equipment is another great way to encourage cognitive play. It helps children develop their fine and gross motor skills as well as problem-solving skills.

Theme Playgrounds: If you want to take cognitive play to the next level, you can create a themed playground. This type of playground is designed around a specific theme like pirates or dinosaurs. It provides opportunities for imaginative and creative play.

Slides: Slides are a classic playground staple for a reason! They provide endless fun and can also help children develop their fine motor skills.


As you can see, there are many ways to add cognitive play elements to your outdoor playground. If you want to give your children the best possible playground experience, make sure to include these elements in your design.

Ready to build your dream playground? SPI Plastics can help! We offer a wide range of outdoor playground equipment that is perfect for cognitive play. Contact us today to get started!

SPI Plastics Inc.

165 Stoneman Drive, Box 100
(Shouldice Block Road & Joynt Street)
Shallow Lake, ON
N0H 2K0

T   519-935-2211
TF 800-269-6533
F   519-935-2174

Business Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8am to 4:30pm
Friday: 8am to 4pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

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