Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 2: Program Activities for Healthy Development

2.1 Program of Developmental Activities

2.1.3 Program Activities for Three- to Five-Year-Olds Selection of Equipment for Three- to Five-Year-Olds

The program should select, for both indoor and outdoor play and learning, developmentally appropriate equipment and materials, for safety, for its ability to provide large and small motor experiences, and for its adaptability to serve many different ideas, functions, and forms of creative expression.
An aesthetic, orderly, appropriately stimulating, child-oriented indoor and outdoor learning/play environment contributes to the preschooler’s sense of well-being and control (1,2,4,5).
“Play and learning settings that motivate children to be physically active include pathways, trails, lawns, loose parts, anchored playground equipment, and layouts that stimulate all forms of active play” (3). If traditional playground equipment is used, caregivers/teachers may want to consult with an early childhood specialist or a certified playground inspector for recommendations on developmentally appropriate play equipment. For more information on play equipment also contact the National Program for Playground Safety (
Center, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Plastic Containers and Toys Treatment of CCA Pressure-Treated Wood
  1. Torelli, L., C. Durrett. 1996. Landscape for learning: The impact of classroom design on infants and toddlers. Early Child News 8:12-17.
  2. Center for Environmental Health. The safe playgrounds project.
  3. DeBord, K., L. Hestenes, R. Moore, N. Cosco, J. McGinnis. 2005. Preschool outdoor environment measurement scale. Lewisville, NC: Kaplan Early Learning Co.
  4. Banning, W., G. Sullivan. 2009. Lens on outdoor learning. St. Paul, MN: Red Leaf Press.
  5. Keeler, R. 2008. Natural playscapes: Creating outdoor play environments for the soul. Redmond, WA: Exchange Press.