Especially for families growing up in urban environments, finding a safe space to play outside and get a healthy amount of exercise is not always so easy. Most parents want their kids to stay in safe, enclosed areas where they can keep their eyes on their kids while still allowing them to explore new territory, have fun, and meet other kids. Taking your children to a nearby playground may fit the bill, or enrolling them in some sort of kids’ community program might do the trick. If these options cannot work for your family or is your would simply like to take matters into your own hands, building your own play area and organizing activities for your community’s children could be the best solution.
What are the physical and social benefits to promoting outdoor play for your kids and how can building your own play area help you receive these benefits? Let’s take a look.
Physical and Social Benefits of Outdoor Play
In January of 2010, the Surgeon General of the US found that one in three kids was overweight or obese. Contrary to popular belief, this trend is by no means particular to the United States. We are seeing more and more overweight and obese children throughout the world, probably due to eating habits, lower levels of exercise, and a lack of understanding of the dangers a little extra weight can do to a child.
When given the chance, kids will play for hours in a play area, climbing, jumping, and running all around the place with their friends. İf you are feeling particularly interactive, you can even organize playground games for your kids and those from the neighborhood to really get everyone pumped and moving around. This daily exercise helps limit the dangers associated with child obesity.
Play areas are usually designed to stimulate as much safe physical activity as possible for, and are equipped with several irresistible structures in one small area. Depending on what the play area has to offer specifically, kids can learn how to climb, crawl, and slide by playing in a playground. These skills are actually very helpful for general physical health and becoming acquainted with the many uses and possibilities of the body. This is particularly true for younger children who probably have not had many opportunities to push the limits and test their budding physical capabilities.
Promoting outdoor play can also help your kid learn social behaviors they will need later on in life. Play areas facilitate interaction between kids, some that already know each other but many who do not, and can teach children a great deal about social relationships and dealing with those not in the family. For younger kids, this can be particularly important because it will mark some of their first interactions with the outside world.
How Building Your Own Play Area Can Help
Especially if you live in an area that does not have a conveniently located or adequate playground, building your own play area can offer your kids all of the above-mentioned benefits in the safety of your own home, making supervision simple. You can build a play area that meets your specific spatial and monetary requirements, keeping in mind that your children are still growing and that buying a play area suited for kids of many ages would probably best suit your needs. You should also consider the materials available, like friendly wood or durable metal, and what sorts of specific elements – like slides, swings, or climbing structures – would be the biggest hit with your kids and their friends. If you are worried that having your own playground may take away from the social benefits of play areas, organize activities and games for your kids and some kids from the community so that everyone can enjoy your new play area and reap its benefits.
Outdoor play is important for a child’s development. Help them be their best physically and socially by promoting their outdoor play, either within the community or with your very own play area.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents wanting to encourage active play.