Playgrounds and swing sets have been a staple at every park, schoolyard and backyard across the country and with good reason! Playgrounds provide the ultimate place for children to get much needed exercise and socialization that are both highly important in developing minds and bodies.
We understand that as parents, you worry about the safety of your children at all times. Although safety and protection is number one when it comes to your family, you shouldn’t rule out playgrounds all together. There are far too many benefits, for both you and your children, to ban them. Going to the playground should be fun and stress free. With a few easy steps, you can feel safe and let your kids spend hours climbing, jumping and chasing their friends at the park.
In addition to equipping you with tips and tricks that ensure your child’s time spent on the playground is as enjoyable as possible, we will outline the advantages of allowing your little one plenty of playground time.
Outdoor Exercise Is Good
Children who learn to lead an active lifestyle early on tend to grow into adults who continue that active lifestyle throughout their life. The first step in assuring your children see exercise as a good thing is to make it look fun. Playgrounds ALWAYS look fun to kids, especially when they see other children having a blast.
By allowing your children to play on playgrounds you are providing them with the potential for hours of fun exercise! Even just allowing your child 30 minutes of playtime a day will greatly improve your child’s mental and physical health. It has been proven that kids who exercise will:
- Less likely be obese
- Decrease the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol
- Improve mental well-being
- Increase energy levels
Additionally, exercise strengthens vital organs and body parts such as:
Outdoor play isn’t just good for your kid’s physical well-being, spending time outside playing also increases mental stability among children. The fresh air will provide a nice break from video games and promotes mental well-being. Also, you are doing your kids a service by allowing your children to play on the playground with other children. By playing in a social setting, they will learn to share, play in groups and build strong relationships with their peers.
Carve Out Time for You
Your kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from hours (or at least 30 minutes) spent outside but you do as well! Getting out of the office or house into fresh air will give you a peace of mind. You can use this time to read a book, catch up with neighbors or friends or even join your children on the playground!
If you decide to put a play set or swing set in your backyard, you can plant and garden, or catch up on other activities while you are outdoors keeping an eye on your children as they play just a few feet away! Remember though, adult supervision is very important when your kids are playing on outdoor play sets and other outdoor equipment.
As stated, we take safety very seriously and we don’t blame you for doing the same for your kids! When taking them to your local playground, you should do a quick check of the equipment to ensure the safest playtime possible. Things to check for on the playground:
- Intact guardrails
All platforms that are intended for school-aged children, and which are 30 inches or higher from the ground, must have guardrails installed to keep the children from falling. If you notice that they are missing, please alert city officials immediately so they can have them installed. Be sure to keep an eye out for the platforms that don’t have rails
- Broken swings
Of course, one of the most popular playground activities is the swing! Small children love them because they can finally see from way up high, instead of looking up from below! However, check the swing sets and the seats carefully before your child sits down. Their bottoms and their egos will thank you for it.
Most new playgrounds use rubber mulch or rubber tiles for safety surfacing. This material creates a safe landing pad for your child if the fall. The depth or type used is based on the highest point your child could fall from. The appropriate depth of safety surfacing for a playground is important both at parks and at your house. This could be the difference between a serious injury and a bruise if your child were to fall from the set.