This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Every morning when my 4 year old wakes up she asks: “Can we go to the playground today?” Luckily we live within walking distance to several playgrounds and we’re also a short drive away from many other awesome playgrounds.
It’s no secret that playgrounds are a fun place for kids but there’s more to a playground than just fun times. Playgrounds are actually a learning ground and a very important part of whole-child development. Visiting playgrounds should be part of your daily routine with your children, regardless of the season.
Why? There are so many benefits of taking your children to playgrounds. In an era where kids are forced to sit still in school for long periods of time and where tablets and TVs are so common, it is important to expose your kids outdoor play and take them often to playgrounds.
Here are top reasons why going to a playground should be part of your kids’ daily routine.
Playgrounds develop motor skills
Playgrounds come in all shapes and sizes and are filled with different types of structures.
They are a great place for running, climbing, sliding, swinging and all sorts of activities that teach motor skills. They help little kids develop basic motor skills and fine tune them as they get older.
Playground structures are also great for children to develop coordination, their strength and muscles. It may seem easy to climb a certain play structure, but doing so requires hand and foot coordination that can only be developed through practice.
We have a rule in our home and it’s that we don’t help our kids in the playground. If they want to climb a structure, we stand close to them so we can help them if they realize they can’t climb it and to avoid a fall but we don’t push them or put them on top of the taller structures.
This motivates our kids to keep trying, to learn how to accomplish their goal, whether is to climb a structure or keep their balance or swing in circles. It shows them what they are capable of doing and that you can accomplish things when you keep trying. We have seen the proud look in our kids’ faces when they figure out how to use their bodies to reach a certain goal and that is priceless.
This is why it’s great to visit different playgrounds in your area so your kids are constantly developing different skills.
Playgrounds help fight obesity and improve kids’ overall health
It’s no secret that childhood obesity is a big issue now-a-days and a big part of it, is the lack of exercise. However, kids don’t exercise like adults do, kids exercise through play and by staying active.
Have you ever gone to playground and found a kid just sitting on a bench watching the other kids play? My guess is that you’ve never seen this and this is why taking your kids to a playground it’s so great for their health.
They run, climb, walk and get a good dose of activity by playing at a playground. However, this is not the only benefit. Our kids’ health improves by taking them a playground because:
- They receive sunlight: which is great to increase their vitamin D levels.
- They get fresh air: the benefits of fresh air are endless, from improved mood to better health.
- They burn energy: kids have a lot of energy that they need to use throughout the day. Taking them to a playground helps release this energy and makes for a happy kid and easier bed time.
- Their immune systems gets a boost: kids are around other children at the playground – they get exposed to different bacterias and sometimes viruses, which boosts their own immune system.
Playgrounds develop social skills
Playgrounds are filled with kids of all ages and in different developmental stages. This means our kids learn how to share, take turns and workout their differences with other kids by playing at a playground. They also learn how to be leaders, how to cooperate, how to support others, empathy and bravery.
A very important aspect for me is that my kids learn how to play with other kids. Working with other people is such a necessary skill in life, from discussing ideas to understanding emotions to working together to accomplish on task. Kids start developing this skill by playing in a playground alongside other kids.
You will often see kids figuring out who will play with a certain toy or how they can join forces to accomplish a task. It is important to let kids play with other kids and let them develop these social skills, with minimal adult interference.
They will also learn conflict resolution skills because they will eventually encounter another kid that wants to play with the same toy or play strucure. You might need to help them navigate this when they’re younger, but once they’re older they will know how to talk to other kids and figure out a solution that works for both.
Playgrounds develop your child’s brain
A big part of learning comes from free play and using your imagination – a playground is a great place for this.
One day the playground might be their spaceship, another day it’s a zoo, a place where superheroes save lives, a castle with kings, queens and knights, a place where animals comes to life – the possibilities are endless. Every time we go to a playground my kids pretend they’re something else or they pretend the playground is some other place.
I am always impressed at the things they come up with and how elaborate some of them are. Kids imagination is so vivid that it almost makes you believe what they’re pretending is real.
Kids are born with the desire to play and it’s because play helps develop so many different aspects of their brain but not only that, studies have shown that kids are able to learn more if you’re allowed to play freely throughout the day. Which is why play breaks during the school day are also so important.
Playgrounds are one of the best places to let your kids learn from other kids and where free play and imagination should be encouraged and celebrated.
For a better tomorrow, we play today
When I was approached by Landscapes Structures to partner for this post the first thing I did was use their playground locator to see if we have been to any of their playgrounds. It turns out all of our favorite playground are developed by them!
I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have sat in a playground bench wishing we had some of these amazing play structures growing up, not only because they are pretty awesome but because we see how they have helped our kids turn into smarter and kind little people.
I now realize why their play structures are so awesome. Landscape Structures is partnered with University of Minnesota’s Institute of Childhood Development to research how play helps develop the child as a whole. If you’ve been to one of their playgrounds you will notice how each structure is made to develop a certain skill.
Kids learn through play and playgrounds are a great way for your kids to develop as a whole and in so many different aspects. Taking them to the playground should not be an activity that is done once or twice a week; it should be part of your daily routine. Even a short 15 minute visit will be beneficial so please, let your kids play, have fun, run and discover who they are through play.
Next time you’re at the playground, just step aside and let your kids have fun!
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