Ever wondered why kids need to go to recess? Why they need playground time with other kids on playground equipment? I am currently working on my Bachelors of Social Work with a concentration in psychology, and I have countless hours of experience working on the front lines of playgrounds before the pandemic as a preschool teacher. I wanted to chat with you today about why we need playgrounds, and what some of the benefits of investing in play equipment can do for the kiddos in your life.
The physical benefits of recess and playgrounds — besides the more obvious plus of helping prevent obesity and diabetes — includes the development of hand-eye coordination & motor skills, increased time outdoors, and a stronger immune system. It even helps kids lungs and heart work more proficiently as it is exposed to exercise in a way that feels fun to kids. The mental benefits linked to playground time to better outcomes in speech, problem solving, imagination & creativity, and school work. For me as an educator and future clinician, the emotional impact of playgrounds are arguably the most important. The benefits here include increased capacity for social skills, empathy, . If you want to raise a sensitive, caring child who is emotionally intelligent, these traits are especially important to foster.
Children’s brains are organized sequentially, from the inside out. This means that, as a kid grows older, they will have different developmental needs based on which parts of their brains are developing. The limbic system, which is quickly developing in young children, allows us to regulate our emotions and feel empathy. For this to develop in a healthy fashion in children, they need to have life experiences that teach them how to engage this system, which comes from social environments.
For many children, their time on the playground is their main social time to visit friends in a safe place that they do not feel censored in. This is the place where kids in schools, programs, and after school are the most imaginative, which fosters a sense of creativity. Great play equipment is just one way to invest in the development of the kiddos in your life, organization, or community.
For indoor and outdoor play equipment call A-OK Playgrounds at 512-826-8800 or visit www.aokplaygrounds.com.