Creating a play area which challenges the children mentally and physically can be a really hard thing to do. You may not know what equipment needs to be used or how challenging it should be for them. Trim Trails are a great method for dealing with this problem as they offer a variety of challenges whilst also being achievable.
Today’s post will look into the benefits of Trim Trails for physical development and how to create the best one for your pupils.
School Trim Trail Equipment
School trim trails are made up of a variety of play equipment to create an interesting and challenging course for pupils to try and navigate. The key point is that the equipment is varied and offers different challenges as well as improving a whole spectrum of skills. They encourage independent learning and cooperation depending on how the equipment is used. Some popular items include:
- Wooden bridges – Connecting two points together on a wobbly bridge, this obstacle encourages kids to improve their balancing skills and to watch their footing. An incredibly popular piece of equipment.
- Ropes/climbing nets – Climbing is a vital skill as it can improve muscle development, hand-eye coordination and encourages a positive attitude towards the challenge. A lot of recent playgrounds have got something like this installed.
- Climbing walls – Again, climbing has many benefits but these walls help with footwork as well as providing an improvement on grip and muscle. Climbing walls have been a classic feature of most playgrounds and will stay around for much longer. Visit this post for more on the benefits of climbing for children.
- Balancing beams – Simple yet effective. Working on balancing skills, balance beams are incredibly successful in helping kids understand how to traverse tricky obstacles whilst also having no threat of pain if failed.
- Monkey bars – Another classic. Monkey bars help with upper body strength and help with producing a positive mindset. This is the ultimate test of determination as this obstacle will push kids to try and make it as far as they can.
- Stepping stones/blocks – A more unique choice. Stepping stones can be tackled in a variety of way. Whether it’s taking your time and slowly moving to each one or running over them as quick as possible to try and conquer it. They’re so many ways to approach this one.
As shown above, each piece of equipment tries to utilise a different skill/factor to help pupils develop into more well-rounded people. This is usually why school trim trail equipment does well and has become so popular over recent years.
By creating your own custom trail as well, you can really cater towards certain skills that you want your students to improve on! For any queries you may have on a trim trail, make sure to pop us a message as we will be able to provide some of the best information in the industry.
Building Children’s Strength and Coordination
Of course, trim trails are more physically intensive than most pieces of equipment that you will find located around the playground. This is due to how many of the obstacles require the children to have a good level of strength and coordination. Through the activities carried out on the trail however, children can practise and develop their own motor skills.
Kids can meet the Ofsted requirements for physical activity as the trail will require running, walking, jumping, climbing, balancing and even more activities depending on how you customise the course. Ofsted really like trim trails for this solid reason as they can offer a wide variety of exercise with no issues.
As well as this, coordination can be built upon as obstacles like climbing walls and balancing on beams will direct the pupils with visual aids to help them understand where their next step must go. Through this, it becomes a lot more natural for kids amongst this age group to perform activities like these with hardly any problem.
Improving Confidence on the Playground
Performing physical activities can give a boost to children’s confidence around the playground and throughout the day. By committing towards an activity, children feel a lot happier with themselves when they can perform the activity with no problem. Exercise is known for improving confidence on the playground and encouraging children to interact with each other. These structures can also be used as props in role play and imaginative playground activities where kids make up their own games and scenes.
As well as this, the feeling of satisfaction of completing a difficult task can be achieved through these types of activities. Knowing this, it’s easy to see why students can feel an increase in confidence on the playground and how supervisors and carers can notice this change. Out of most activities, trim trails always seem to do a great job at engaging children’s attention and helping them build on their confidence.
Trim Trail Designs for All Ages
When it comes to picking trim trail designs, it’s important that you understand the age group that you’re dealing with. You want to aim for a challenging yet possible course for your pupils to complete. If you make it too easy, you can end up with the students completing it too quickly and therefore feeling no sense of accomplishment.
If the trim trail is made too hard, then none of the students will attempt the course and those who do will have a massive decrease in self-confidence as they feel like they can’t complete it properly. It’s vital to keep these two points in mind as they will dictate the success rate amongst the children.
For those who may be stuck on how to construct a trim trail for your pupils, here are a few rough ideas on trim trail designs for all ages that you can adapt and alter to help create your ideal trail.
- Nursery/pre-school – For this group, the trim trail doesn’t have to be long. As the pupils are only little in age and size, creating a simplistic trail is incredibly important. However, you need to try and make it look interesting as well. Using wooden bridges and stepping stones are great as they can help spark imagination and lead to a more engaged pupil. See more nursery playground designs here to get some ideas.
- Primary school – At this point, a lot of the children have developed their physical and mental state and so you can add more challenge to the course. Monkey bars and balancing beams can push children physically whilst rewarding them with a sense of achievement If completed. You want to create a challenge, but not too much.
- High school – Many of the pupils have started to have the mindset of an adult and the physicality of one as well. More advanced equipment like climbing walls and nets can be installed to make sure that the kids are getting the exercise that they need as well as providing that positive mental energy when completed.
Overall, it really is up to you on how you design your trim trail. Keep in mind the age of the pupils and you’ll create a great course in no time! If you have any troubles with designing one or want a bit more information about them, then feel free to contact us here at Soft Surfaces.
No one knows how to get the best from your pupils like us. With over 20 years of experience, it’s no wonder why more and more people are starting to realise that there is no one else like us in the industry. As you can see there are so many benefits of trim trails for physical development and mental health in schools.