Playgrounds are incredibly important to the childhood experience. Walk or drive past any outdoor playground and you’re bound to see the biggest smiles and hear the loudest laughter. Outdoor play areas are where the magic happens for kids, whether it’s mastering the monkey bars or climbing to the top of a half-moon climber.
Kids have so much available to them in terms of technology, but it’s important to encourage outdoor play at a playground, too. Safe, sturdy commercial playground equipment provides this opportunity. Below are five reasons why children need playgrounds for their social, emotional and cognitive development.
1. Playgrounds improve fine and gross motor skills.
Today’s playgrounds are packed with various activities, including swings, slides, monkey bars, rock climbing walls and seesaws. These activities aren’t just for fun - they encourage kids to develop their fine and gross motor skills. For example, swinging requires the legs to pump, which can help kids become faster and stronger runners.
2. Develop self-confidence.
When a child sees something new for the first time, such as a rock climbing wall or balance beam, it may be intimidating. However, as they are introduced to this activity and see other children doing it, they will learn to conquer their fears and try something new. This will help them in the future when facing new situations.
3. Outdoor play can boost physical health.
There is no substitute for outdoor play. Getting outdoors allows children to get Vitamin D, which is essential for strong bone health and a healthy immune system. Kids who play outside also burn more calories and reduce their risk for obesity and cardiovascular problems in the future. Plus, we can’t overlook the fact that children who play outdoors tend to sleep better and wake up more refreshed.
4. Going to the park can increase social and communication skills.
Kids who are on technology all day find it hard to socialize with their peers. Going to a park is a great way to get kids off their tablets and interacting with others. They can easily meet new friends, play games and participate in challenges. Custom playground designs feature numerous opportunities for inclusive play, such as play houses, rope netting and crawl tubes.
5. Foster creative thinking.
Being able to think outside the box is a huge asset in today’s world. However, many children aren’t given these opportunities on a regular basis. The good news is that they can get them on the playground. When children feel empowered, their imaginations become stronger and they’re able to look at things with a fresh perspective.
Playgrounds are so much more than a place to play. They create the perfect environment for children to learn new things, develop friendships and build confidence. To learn more about adding a playground to your location, contact Cunningham Recreation today.