“Wheeee!” What is it about plummeting downward on a slide that makes children say this fun word? My toddler daughter also says this every time she sees a slide. Any child who slides down a slide saying “whee” is having a very fun time. What that child doesn’t realize is that he is also learning many other skills as well. The benefits of slides are way more than just being a thrilling form of movement.
Benefits of Sliding
- Vestibular Stimulation. The extreme movement that sliding provides stimulates the ear canal and the fluid in it. This stimulation provides information the body needs to help with the overall development of the body.
- Balance and Coordination. Sliding helps children learn to balance because they have to keep their torso in balance as gravity pulls them downward. They also have to use balance and coordination to climb the ladder, change positions safely at the top, sit down and then finally, descend.
- Spatial Awareness. Toddlers learning to slide often fly off the end of the slide because they don’t have the spatial awareness to judge the exact moment to put their feet down at the bottom of the slide. Young children often need an adult nearby when they climb the ladder because they don’t have the ability yet to correctly judge the distance between the steps of the ladder. The more children practice climbing and sliding, the better their spatial awareness will become and before you know it, they won’t need the assistance of an adult.
- Physical Exercise. Climbing the ladder provides cardiovascular exercise that all children need to help them with overall development. Ascending steps is also a great way to strengthen upper and lower body muscles.
- Social Skills. When several children are playing on a slide, they have to share, take turns and be patient. Learning to play and work cooperatively will help children interact and succeed not only in their childhood but throughout their life.
A Slide Made for Learning
Toddlers learning to slide can benefit most from a slide that is not very tall or long. A slide with just a couple steps to climb helps little bodies scale Mt. Slide much easier and faster. The short slide means there is a shorter distance for toddlers to descend making it less fearful and intimidating. This will help children acclimate to this fun piece of play equipment before they tackle the big slides on the playground. The slide that taught both of our children to climb and slide is this Little Tikes Slide.
Our son received this slide as a gift from his aunt and uncle when he was a toddler. Now our toddler daughter utilizes it almost every day. She just recently mastered climbing up the stairs independently and loves playing on this fun play piece as much as her mommy and daddy will allow.
We love the versatility of this slide because we can use it both indoors and outdoors. We put it on the rug in our living room when our daughter needs to practice climbing and navigating the slide. The rug provides a soft surface so that our little girl won’t hurt herself on the hard floor. When we occasionally use it outside, we always set it on the grass in our yard so there is extra cushioning.
Slide Play Sets
Slide Play Sets provide more entertainment, activity and opportunity for gross motor development than just a slide by itself. Many of them are designed to move easily and can be used either inside or outside. Toddler play sets are designed for youngsters learning to climb and slide because they have short ladders and slides.
If your child loves sports, this play set or one similar is the one for him! It is a jungle gym that includes a basketball hoop, soccer goal and toss through wall as well as a slide and climbing ladder.
Coordination, balance and spatial awareness will be refined as they use the included multi-purpose sports ball to practice tossing, shooting and kicking.
This bestseller can entertain and motivate your child for years because it is designed for children ages 2-6 years of age.
Our son would go bonkers over this Paw Patrol Slide Play Set. This slide set is designed to look like the Lookout Tower in Adventure Bay. No doubt our son would pretend to be his favorite pup Chase and yell “Ready for action!” as he climbed to the top of this fun play set. Role-playing the characters on Paw Patrol provides the benefit of imaginative and pretend play.
The ladder features non-slip steps so children can safely climb up to the Lookout Tower. Your child will “Go, Go, Go” for hours on this entertaining piece of equipment.
Swing and Slide
A swing and a slide side by side provide lots of opportunity for vestibular stimulation and gross motor activity. It is also a great way for your toddler to learn to swing and slide without having to buy a swing and a slide separately.
This swing set and slide is an indoor and outdoor toddler playground designed for children 1-3 years of age. It includes an easy rock climbing wall to access the short slide. The bucket swing includes a 3-point safety belt so you can rest easy knowing your little one will swing safely.
Slide and Play the Day Away!
Providing your toddler the opportunity to climb and slide will ensure she receives all the benefits of slides. If she is like our daughter, she will want to play on the slide most of the day (well part of the day anyway). At first, it may be a little difficult because you will need to be right beside her to make sure she doesn’t fall. You will very soon be able to gradually move farther away until your toddler no longer needs your constant supervision and support. Even though your “baby” is growing up and becoming more independent, she still needs you to play with her and provide her the opportunities to learn through play! Go slide the day away!