The amount of time children spend outdoors has rapidly decreased in the last ten years and it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that children of all ages are getting a good amount of exercise. With the introduction of computers and games consoles, children are becoming use to staying indoors and only interacting with screens and monitors. However, it is essential that children get outdoors both for their health and wellbeing. This highlights the importance of providing children access to fun, stimulating and safe outdoor play areas.
With the obesity rate for children everywhere is consistently increasing, it is important to encourage children to do regular exercise, ideally on a daily basis. Nearly one in every four children starting out at primary school are now obese or overweight and the figures increase by the time they move to secondary school. The Government recommends one hour of exercise daily as well as a balanced diet in order to stay healthy and help children grow properly. The playground provides the perfect opportunity for children to run around and stay active.
Whilst you may think that playgrounds are used purely for the enjoyment of children, they will constantly be learning through outdoor play. Playground slides and jungle gyms help children to learn how to interact with each other and build upon their social skills. Children learn how to share and take turns and can start to understand what social behavior is acceptable. For children with no brothers and sisters, these are fundamental skills to learn and the playground hosts the perfect environment.
By providing children with an exciting playground environment, it stimulates their mind and allows for cognitive development. When children play on playground swings, sandpits and children's play tunnels they use their imagination which is crucial for developing problem solving skills. They then learn to think for themselves, thus improving their independence. Having a variety of different pieces of equipment will contribute to the development of different areas within the brain.
Finally, playgrounds also provide children with a safe and fun environment in order to release tension and stress. It is important for children to have 'down time' where they are allowed to relax and get rid of any excess energy. Therefore the importance of the playground is not to be underestimated and should be well thought out and planned.
Playgrounds provide crucial and vital opportunities for children to play. There is substantial research showing the clear link between play and brain development, motor-skills, and social capabilities. All learning—emotional, social, motor and cognitive—is accelerated, facilitated, and fueled by the pleasure of play. Playgrounds that promote different types of play are vital for a child’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development.
We would like your help and turn an empty area into a place where kids can play, learn, grow and have fun. Hopefully by creating this area, we can get more children outside instead of stuck inside playing with their electronic gadgets.