Normally when the days get longer and the weather becomes nicer, you'll see kids flocking to the playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer fields and more to enjoy time outdoors. Then, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and playgrounds across the country were shuttered in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Now that the country is opening back up, so too are playgrounds - and that's a good thing.
If your playground is starting to show its age, consider adding a few modern pieces to breathe new life into the space. By simply changing the ground cover or installing new equipment, you can update your playground without performing a full overhaul. But first, you must dream up your perfect playground space. Use the following elements to guide your vision and get thinking about modernizing your playground.
With the brisk breezes and changing leaves, fall is an exciting time of year. It's also the perfect opportunity to plan some fun activities with your kids before the weather turns cold for the winter. Below are some of the best activities to do with your kids during the fall.
Celebrate May as National Physical Fitness & Sports Month! Outdoor play and exercise used to be a natural part of every childhood. But with the temptations of electronics and video games, loving parents are challenged with getting kids outdoors, according to 39% of adults polled. It’s crucial to keep kids physically active and playing outside. With proper exercise, kids can have improved muscular fitness, better bone health and protection from heart disease.
Here are some of the proven benefits from studies around the world.
Play has always been an innate part of the childhood experience. Long before there were playgrounds of any kind, children were creating their own using little more than their imaginations. Play is important for the cultivation of motor skills as well as physical strength and stamina. Children also learn social skills from playing together in groups. Country children had it best in this respect — a crooked stick became a lightning-fast steed, while a small stream became a vast and mysterious ocean. Play occurs in all cultures and is an essential part of healthy childhood development, even though playgrounds themselves are a relatively recent addition. The first public playground was built in San Francisco in the year 1887, and playgrounds as we know them gradually came into existence as cities grew larger and outdoor play in the streets and in vacant lots became increasingly dangerous. However, it took over a century for the idea of inclusive playgrounds to even begin to make a dent in America's cultural landscape.
Over the last 20 years, due primarily to the enactment of No Child Left Behind in 2002 and the adoption of 2010's Common Core State Standards, test scores have become increasingly more important for schools in the United States. Sadly, uninterrupted and unstructured playtime in the form of recess has simultaneously become increasingly more rare.
Summer is here and the heat is unrelenting. It's important for kids to spend time outdoors playing, but it's also challenging when the heat index is so high.
Childhood obesity has hit an all-time high. The CDC reports that almost one out of every five school-aged children suffers from obesity. Obesity carries with it a plethora of negative consequences for kids. These include problems with self-esteem, health issues, reluctance to socialize, and more. Of course, no parent wants to see a child suffer from being out of shape, let alone obese. Even so-called normal-weight children often don’t get enough exercise. With the abundance of passive playthings like computers, tablets and cell phones, children are even less likely to get the amount of exercise that they need to thrive and grow.
Playgrounds as we know them are a relatively recent phenomenon. Few existed before the 20th century. Many sources claim that the first planned playground in the United States appeared in Boston in 1886, a year after a recreational "sand garden" was created in Germany. The rise of playgrounds coincided with the expansion of industrialization and the middle class, as well as the expansion of urban areas.
We talk a lot about the importance of playing on the playground for children. Playing on the playground plays a vital role in the development of a child, it provides them with a healthy dose of vitamin C, it’s a great form of exercise, it helps them learn social skills and it’s just plain FUN.