Physical activity is crucial for just about everyone all around the world. Physical activity not only improves the physical condition, but it can also relieve stress, form good life long habits, and even improve overall mood. And while physical movement on a regular basis is critical for adults, it’s even more important for growing children, due to the fact that physical play and brain development have been found to be linked, particularly when it comes to fine and gross motor skill development – as well as the development of as many as four hundred genes in the cerebral cortex alone.
Of course, playing actively helps children meet their physical activity recommendations on a daily basis as well. Currently, these recommendations reflect that a child who is between the ages of six and eleven should be getting at least one hour of exercise on a daily basis. This exercise will help them to maintain a healthy weight as well as strengthen muscles and endurance, bettering the health of their bodies for years to come, especially if they keep up the level of physical activity in their later years.
Unfortunately, however, only just over forty percent of children in that age range are actually getting the level of exercise that they are in need of. For many children, technology and screen time has taken the place of physical play and up to two thirds of all parents are concerned about the amount of time that their children spend looking at and using screens. Screens certainly have their place and technological literacy is very important, especially in today’s day and age – but so too is outdoor and active play, perhaps now more than ever.
Playgrounds can be a great way to get children up and moving, from outdoor playground equipment for preschool to playground equipment for elementary schools. Fortunately, the number of playgrounds in the United States is on the rise, with more than three hundred public playgrounds scattered throughout the city of Chicago, Illinois alone. And there are many ways that playgrounds can be made to fit the needs of the children who will be playing on them.
For instance, outdoor playground equipment for preschool children is likely to be a scaled back version of other playgrounds, with said outdoor playground equipment for preschool children designed to accommodate the needs of children that are both much smaller in size as well as considerably less coordinated than their older peers. Outdoor playground equipment for preschool aged children is likely to be found at preschools around the country, of course, but this outdoor playground equipment for preschool children might even be found as an offshoot of a much larger playground as well, making it the perfect place for parents to take siblings of varying ages, with something there for everyone.
Aside from outdoor playground equipment for preschool ages children, there is also specially designed playground equipment for older children as well. The use of playground climbing walls has become more prevalent and commonplace in recent years, and the addition of a playground climbing wall can add hours of fun for many children who are of the age to use it. In addition to this, themed playgrounds are also becoming more popular, making physical play and creative expression in the form of physical play more engaging and exciting than it has ever been before.
And, after all, it has been found that updated and newer playgrounds are likely to attract more children to them on a regular basis, encouraging play by offering new and exciting playground equipment to be tried out. The data that has been gathered on the subject more than backs up this claim, showing that a rebuilt playground will see up to two thirds more children coming to play with it. This is often due to the fact that equipment is now more usable and accessible to children of different ability levels and age groups, and the equipment that is used is also likely to be more thoroughly designed with safety in mind, something that will put the worries of many parents at ease, as older playgrounds have proven to be quite dangerous in a number of situations.
At the end of the day, however, all play matters.