If you ask elementary school kids what their favorite part of the day is, most will answer “recess!” This time of day allows kids to take a break from the classroom and play with their friends. However, as much as outdoor play is vital for a child's physical and social development, it's equally important to ensure their safety and comfort.
One way to enhance the overall recess experience is by incorporating shade structures into school playgrounds. Take a look at your playground - do you have enough shade for students and staff? Let’s explore five facts that support why every school playground needs shade structures.
1. Protection from Harmful UV Rays
The most obvious benefit of shade structures on school playgrounds is the protection they offer against the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Exposure to excessive UV rays can lead to sunburn, skin damage and an increased risk of skin cancer, even in children. Shade structures provide a safe haven, allowing children to enjoy outdoor activities without constant sun exposure.
2. Comfortable Outdoor Learning
Outdoor education is becoming increasingly popular as it improves child development, independence, creativity and problem solving. However, it’s hard to learn when it’s too hot or too sunny! Fortunately, shade structures provide a comfortable environment for outdoor lessons, allowing teachers to conduct classes in a refreshing outdoor setting.
3. Extended Playtime
In many parts of the country, extreme heat during certain times of the year can make outdoor play uncomfortable or even dangerous for students. Shade structures extend the usable hours of the school playground, enabling children to enjoy outdoor playtime even during the hottest parts of the day.
4. All-Weather Protection
Shade structures don't just shield students from the sun; they also provide protection from rain and light drizzles. This means that, even on overcast or rainy days, children can still use the playground, fostering a consistent routine for outdoor play that benefits their overall health and development.
5. Temperature Regulation
Playground equipment can become dangerously hot in warm temperatures, making it uncomfortable and potentially hazardous for children. Shade structures act as natural temperature regulators, significantly reducing the risk of burns and heat-related illnesses. Furthermore, shade structures protect the equipment from the elements, extending their lifespan and reducing maintenance costs.
Shade Structures for School Playgrounds
Shade structures are an excellent investment for any school playground. Cunningham Recreation offers shade products that block up to 97 percent of the sun’s rays. This ensures that park visitors are kept cool and comfortable, and playground equipment is well-maintained. To learn more about the playground shade options available for your school park, contact our playground experts today.