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4 Reasons Why Elementary School Playgrounds Are So Important


At first glance, an elementary school playground might look like nothing more than a place for kids to run around and play. In reality, it’s the hub of childhood development. Outdoor playground equipment for schools provide a safe space for students to play and explore while reducing stress, developing social skills and refreshing the mind and body.

The research is clear: Kids need outdoor time on the playground. Here are four reasons why your school should have an inclusive playground for all students to enjoy.

1. Release Energy in a Healthy Way

Daily school recess improves classroom behavior. Kids are able to take breaks from sitting at their desks and release pent up energy in a healthy, constructive manner. This way, when they return to the classroom, they’re more attentive, more focused and better able to learn.

Children with attention deficit disorders especially benefit from playing outside at recess. They can concentrate better after getting an outdoor break, and as a result, are less disruptive in the classroom.

2. Reduce Childhood Obesity Rates

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States. According to the CDC, 19.3 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Children become overweight and obese for a number of reasons, including genetic factors, a lack of exercise and unhealthy eating patterns.

While we can’t control a child’s genetics, we can certainly encourage daily physical activity and healthy eating. Starting these habits early is best, as children will have an easier time incorporating them into their lifestyle.

3. Improve Academic Performance

Incorporating recess into a child’s daily routine improves academic performance. Fifteen to thirty minutes is all students need to refresh their minds and bodies. During this time, they also get fresh air, immune-boosting Vitamin D and a release of neurotransmitters in the brain.

When they return to class, students are better able to understand and retain information. This allows them to perform better on tests. On the other hand, a student’s performance worsens every hour that passes without a break.

4. Develop Better Social Skills

The elementary school playground is also a hub for learning social skills. Students use this time on the playground to initiate conversation, join in groups, take turns, follow directions and cooperate with others.

Unfortunately, many of these skills are no longer taught or practiced in the classrooms. Many schools expect kids to sit quietly all day long, even on the bus and at lunch. But, if we want children to live in harmony as adults one day, they must have an opportunity to develop essential social skills.

Plan for a New School Playground Today

How is your school playground equipment looking these days? If your playground could use a refresh, contact Cunningham Recreation today. Our turnkey solutions will take care of everything for you! In the end, your school will get a brand new playground that supports happy, healthy students.