How Playgrounds are Key to Development

Posted by in Blog, Outdoor Play on February 2, 2015 Comments off

More and more children in the current generation have been staying inside to play video games or watch television, and that has led to some development problems that parents may not have considered before. Engaging your child in play outdoors can strongly help their development that they’ll need for years to come. Any physical fitness or activity not only helps them stay fit, but it can also engage their minds in creative thought.

Playgrounds and parks are ideal spaces where children can engage in outdoor play. They can practice and master certain physical skills that they can’t do while they remain inside. It gets them running and jumping, and even working on those finer motor skills, such as catching balls, playing on the monkey bars, and playing tag. They’re more likely to stay fit and help the growth of their bones as they begin to mature while keeping them healthy and strong, and preventing problems from occurring in the future.

In addition to exercise, the exposure to sunlight can also help to regulate the pineal gland. This essential gland is what regulates our “biological clock”, so that we feel tired when the sun goes down and more alert when the sun is up. It also helps to boost our immune systems, so that we’re less likely to contract infections and diseases, and has been shown to reduce the risk of the onset of depression.

Playing outdoors also aids in the development of learning and creativity. They can invent games to play with each other, make up their own rules, determine what the end goal is, and be flexible with those rules as they see fit, as they learn of new considerations that they’d never thought of before. Engaging in play allows them to express themselves in an open environment while they learn about the world around them and how to engage with others. Cooperation is a key part of their development, as it teaches them very early on the kind of elements that they consider when they’re looking for friends.

In addition to learning about nature, they can experience nature for itself as well. They can learn about the growth cycle of trees, the kind of animals that live in the park, smell the various flowers, and feel the difference between a dead leaf and a real one. They can put all of their senses to the test in playgrounds and parks, engaging in a variety of physical activities that will aid in the development and fine-tuning of those senses.

Parents shouldn’t underestimate the value that physical fitness or activity can have a child’s life. Getting them at an early age and as often as possible can teach children to develop their problem-solving skills, and challenge the world around them with questions.