Why children need playgrounds more than ever!
In this day and age where technology is advancing at a rapid pace and you see more and more children turning to tablets instead of toys, it is more critical than ever to reinstate active play into your child’s life. We might see playgrounds as just a few monkey bars and a swing set, but in reality a playground is a fundamental part of a child’s early development.
As Albert Einstein said “play is the highest form of research” and we at ABC stand by this fully. Here are the top reasons of how playgrounds can greatly improve your child’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
Physical activity is paramount to a child’s health and will set them up for a long term active lifestyle. Kids love to run, jump, swing and climb for the mere reason that it is “fun”. By limiting their screen time and encouraging outdoor play, parents are improving their child’s flexibility, gross motor skills and improving bone density, heart and lung function and preventing obesity! It is amazing how greatly a child’s immune function is improved by even just 30 minutes of being outdoors playing under the sun.
With so many different types of outdoor equipment, it is easy to find something that will cater to every age. At ABC Recreation we offer outdoor fitness equipment solutions for ages 5 and up!
With mental health gaining more and more importance in society, it is no surprise that playgrounds can also impact a child’s emotions in a very positive way. Aside from the playground itself, make-believe games between the children contribute to teaching social roles and coping mechanisms. Through playing pretend it lets kids try on different personas and construct a strong sense of self.
Children are also encouraged to experience emotions they might not be subjected to anywhere else. While waiting in line for the slide they learn patience and how to combat occasional boredom away from the eyes of their parents. Unstructured physical play is also shown to reduce stress and allows children to use their imaginations to create their own temporary storylines.
Children that play at a playground are encouraged to socially develop at a more rapid pace in order to keep up with other children. Critical thinking and problem solving skills are improved vastly when they are left to their own devices as they are now pushed to be independent. They are made to focus on their behaviours and become face to face with consequence and risk, which helps them on decision making in the future.
Creativity is also greatly fostered with different equipment, giving them the chance to broaden their imagination and expand their minds. Studies have shown that free play affects neurological development and improves their confidence, intelligence and ability to articulate. Mr Rogers once said “Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”
In a playground you will get children from all walks of life. Different economic statuses, abilities and ages will be presented to your child and they will learn how to socially interact with each one in a non biased way, free from any adult interference. They learn social skills when approaching other children that they aren’t familiar with which fosters confidence and communication skills. In order to participate in group play, they will quickly learn verbal and non-verbal communication and how to collaborate with others.
Although technology, tablets and computers have positive impacts on children’s lives as well, we can’t forget the positive lasting effects of physical outdoor play. So what are you waiting for? Grab your kids, get them laced up and head outside today for 30 minutes of play that will positively impact their future in more ways than you can imagine!