The Benefits of Playgrounds in Childhood Development, Part 1
It doesn’t seem like a stretch to argue that playgrounds can play a positive role in a child’s development. After all, kids love visiting the playground, and these are popular places for parents to take the kids in order to pass time and burn off some energy. But what is it about playgrounds that makes them such a positive impact on the life on a child? In this two-part article, we are going to take a closer look at this topic.
Making Physical Strides
This is the benefit that you can see just from watching kids play over and over on a playground as the months and years go by. There are a variety of physical skills used on a standard playground, and those skills are bound to develop with practice and repetition. For instance, the skill of climbing up a rope ladder is something that might not come easily at first, but most children will develop quickly with some practice. Along the way, they are going to be developing strength, stamina, and countless other physical attributes.
It’s likely true that the physical benefits of playing on playground equipment have never been more important, given the largely sedentary state of society today. Kids have access to countless forms of entertainment at any given time, most of which don’t require them to even stand up, let alone move around and exercise. While there is a time and place for things like video games, the health benefits of physical activity cannot be ignored. Time on the playground is a great way to keep kids physically active while having fun at the same time.
Finding New Friends
Making friends is not as hard for kids as it tends to be for adults, but it can still be a challenge. At the playground, it is common for kids to begin playing together shortly after meeting – it’s just that kind of place. With a shared excitement for playing with all of the fun equipment that is available, kids can make fast friends and potentially build relationships that will last for years.
Not only is it great for kids to simply make friends, but there is a developmental aspect to this benefit, as well. There are interpersonal skills required in order to communicate with other kids and form friendships, and those skills are going to be improved through practice on the playground. If a child becomes comfortable talking to other kids on the playground, that newfound confidence is likely to spill over to school and other areas of life, as well. Making friends is something that comes easily for some kids and is a big challenge for others, so the playground is a great way to bring them all together and build social bonds.
Between the strong physical incentives and the meaningful friendships, making time for the playground is already an easy decision. In the second part of this article, we’ll look at even more benefits of periodic visits to the neighborhood playground.