Head Outdoors as a Family This Mother’s Day
We think every DAY should be “Mother’s Day” but for over 100 years we have been officially celebrating moms on the second Sunday in May.
Starting with the creation of the Mother’s Day international Association in 1912, and then a proclamation on May 9, 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson establishing the first national Mother’s Day holiday in the U.S., moms have been treated on this spring Sunday starting with creative breakfast-in-bed served by kid chefs or fancy dress-up brunches.
Mother’s Day is a day to treat mom to special things she enjoys all day, and a time for families to gather.
Since Mother’s Day typically falls during rejuvenated weather after a trying winter, outdoor activities are high on the list and neighborhood parks will be swarming because it is no secret that moms love playgrounds as much as their children!
Moms Love Creative and Safe Playground Environments
After a long winter moms (and dads, grandparents and all caregivers!) love taking their children to playgrounds where they can get exercise, socialize and be creative in a safe environment.
“With three little ones who are as active as they come, we are always on the hunt for a good playground to burn off energy and get in quality fresh-air playtime,” writes Marisha Brahney, New Jersey mom.
Playground designer Hanna Morrill says she would be at local playgrounds even if it was not part of her job description.
“As a mom of a toddler, I’d spend a bulk of my time at local playgrounds even if it wasn’t part of my job to understand how kids like to play,” writes Morrill. “A good playground should challenge your child to get creative – and keep them safe.”
Playgrounds Provide Social Growth for Children and Moms
Playgrounds not only provide a chance for children to get much needed physical exercise and outdoor time, but their interaction with others contributes to emotional and social growth.
All ages can experience interaction at the same time on playgrounds, from babies in strollers and on blankets socializing with others, to parents chasing after rambunctious toddlers, to older children figuring out the give-and-take off sharing space with peers.
Intelligently designed playground equipment can also provide milestones for children.
“In many ways, this playground has been just as effective a measure of my children's growth as any scale,” writes Emily Glover. “I will always remember the first time my son got the confidence to go down the slide or climbed the ladder on his own or was finally able to get up on the back of the play dinosaur without a boost.”
Morrill says this can be a learning time for observant moms: “I want to encourage (moms) to actually get on the playground and play with their kids. Because you’ll learn a lot about your child.”
While playgrounds also provide moms with a change of scenery and a chance to rest on a bench or picnic table, it also provides new or “rookie parents” with a chance to socialize and meet other parents.
“Learning how to navigate a playground is arguably just as crucial for parents as for kids,” writes Katie Barilaro, in her humorous “What Type of Playground Mom Are You?” article.
By the Numbers: Why Moms (and Dads!) Love Playgrounds So Much
If you want to understand why moms love playgrounds so much look at the survey conducted by Wakefield Research last year for the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA), the playground industry’s leading playground safety certification organization, and its Voice of Play initiative.
“Play is the great equalizer and allows children to develop empathy,” said Tom Norquist, IPEMA past president. “Play allows children to readily accept differences, genuinely feel harmonious and learn that others may have different feelings and perspectives. It’s great to confirm from our survey research that parents observe this across the country.”
Some 9 in 10 parents in the survey found that “playing on the playground helps children be more inclusive of others who may have different abilities and backgrounds than their own.
The survey grouped benefits of public playgrounds into three areas:
Role in Fostering inclusiveness and play equity with parents seeing these positive impacts from their children playing with others on public playgrounds:
- Playing with children of all abilities (42 percent)
- Improved physical fitness (42 percent)
- Less screen time (38 percent)
- Confidence boosting (30 percent)
The importance of play during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- 87 percent of the parents surveyed said that play right now is more important than ever.
- More than 50 percent said they value public playground environments more today than they did prior to the pandemic.
More family time and togetherness:
- 94 percent of parents said they were engaging with their children outdoors during the pandemic.
- 60 percent of families said they are playing more together since the coronavirus crisis started.
Playgrounds Have Benefits for Moms and Families
The IPEMA 2020 study found the benefits of public playgrounds far-reaching, especially during these social distancing times, with parents citing as the top benefits:
- Improves connections with others (67 percent)
- Reduces stress (65 percent)
- Encourages creativity (55 percent)
- Teaches cooperation (51 percent)
- Creates a foundation for lifelong fitness (49 percent)
- Deepens a sense of belonging (48 percent)
Contact May Recreation Equipment & Design in the greater Houston area today to find out how we can provide you with recreational design concepts that emphasize safety and fun.