When you’re a kid, it’s hard to think of an everyday activity more exciting than going to the playground. As soon as your Mum or Dad let go of your hand you’d be off like a shot, grabbing the best swing for yourself or trying to scramble up the slide instead of down.
But playground equipment has benefits beyond simply being fun. Through promoting fitness, helping to build skills and strengthening mental health, playground equipment is essential to your child’s development.
Maintaining Fitness Levels
Children are naturally active, and it can be hard to satisfy this need indoors. Not only does playing outside increase and maintain kids’ fitness, it builds positive associations between fun and being active, which will make it easier for them to have a healthy lifestyle going forward in life.
Lots of outdoor playground equipment such as swings, see-saws and flying foxes provide exercise to kids while being heaps of fun. These engage their entire body’s muscles to operate and hold on, and subconsciously teach balance, coordination and spatial awareness, skills that are essential for playing all kinds of sports.
Outdoor play teaches other skills as well. Supervised tree or rock climbing helps kids learn problem solving through figuring out how to get from point A to point B, estimating and testing branches and handholds for stability, and navigating their way back down again.
Sand pits are wonderfully multi-purpose for seamless childhood learning. Measuring cups and different-sized containers help children develop their mathematical understanding; for example the concept of fractions by how much a single cup of sand fills up a bucket. Learning to cooperate and share with other children in the sandpit is important for building social skills such as negotiation and compromise. Not to mention, sand pits are an excellent outlet for creativity, letting kids express themselves by figuring out how to sculpt out of sand what they see in their minds.
Nurturing Healthy Minds
The mental health benefits of playing outside are often overlooked, as fear of sun damage or playground accidents keep the whole family indoors. But children need plenty of fresh air and sunshine (with sun protection, of course) to develop not only healthy bodies, but healthy minds as well.
Kids’ playground equipment allows dozens of children to have fun together in a mini-society, figuring out problems and conflicts amongst themselves. Of course, it’s important the parents remain watchful and nearby just in case, but for the little things, kids need to learn to negotiate their own solutions rather than constantly look to their parents.
Want your own playground equipment?
At Playground Centre, we’re committed to providing fun, safe environments for your child’s development. Our outdoor playground equipment is durable through all weather conditions, guaranteed to provide enjoyment for many, many years.