Five types of sensory playground equipment

July 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm

sensory playground equipmentWhen you build a playground regardless of size and/or location, you should consider making the area rich in sensory experiences. Children learn by using all of their senses, so adding as many sensory experiences as possible, will create a play area that is fun as well as improving their development. Sensory playground equipment can be especially helpful for children that have sensory processing disorders.

Here are the five main sensory experiences you may want to consider when purchasing playground equipment for a sensory playground experience.

  • Visual
  • Vestibular
  • Tactile
  • Kinesthetic
  • Auditory

Five Different Types of Sensory Playground Equipment

These five pieces of sensory playground equipment can help you build a sensory rich playground that will bring fun and learning to children for many years to come.

Traceable Mazes and Labyrinths 

Panels that fit into places within the playground structure, or are incorporated in a stand alone structure, can include sensory pieces such as traceable letters, numbers, and mazes. This tactile sensory experience helps children explore and improve their fine motor skills. It helps with both visual and tactile sensory experiences.


Watch any child at a playground and you will see how they love to climb, jump, and challenge themselves. Steppers such as log steppers can help children improve their lower body strength while helping with tactile and visual sensory skills.


While slides may be in just about every playground, there is a bigger reason for this than just fun. Slides help develop a child’s vestibular system. This system has to do with a child’s sense of balance. Slides can help children to feel themselves going downward and can see what the motion of going downward looks like.

Water and Sand Tables

 Providing children with a way to explore different textures is great for tactile sensory development. Sand and water tables or areas, give children a way to build, dig, and explore different textures. These are especially beneficial if there is not a lot of natural experiences to be had around your playground area.

Outdoor Stages and Instruments 

Equipment such as chimes, drums, and bells, can help children develop their auditory senses. They also give children the chance to experiment with sound and find out what they like and dislike. Building a small stage into your playground can help children perform and play whilst building their confidence.

Playgrounds are meant to be fun, however, that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit developing children in other ways as well. These five examples of sensory-friendly playground equipment are just a few of many additions you can add to a playground to provide a full sensory experience.