Have you heard a famous adage “children learn how to learn when they play?” What comes to your mind when you see your kids playing outside? I am sure you think its fun when you see them jumping, laughing, swinging, climbing, and sliding, right?
Well, a lot more is happening to their bodies and minds when they play. The colorful and open playground structures provide kids with a tremendous learning experience. Today’s educational communities see playgrounds as a lot more than an optional or extracurricular activity. Why they do so? I will be discussing it below!
Even kids themselves are unaware what playing does to their bodies when they play outside. They play because it’s fun for them. However, research shows outdoor playing isn’t only beneficial but necessary to keep kids healthy and physically fit. Kids learn movement control and reflexes when they play, which, in turn, lead to the development of motor skills and enhance balance and flexibility.
Moreover, outdoor playground equipment involves kids in activities that help in making muscles stronger and improve bone density. On top of that, increased blood circulation during playing helps in better heart functioning and lung performance; thereby preventing kids from high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
A famous Roman poet named Ovid once said we tell kids what kind of people we are with playing. When I first read his quote, I kept on thinking what did he mean by that, but after pondering a bit, I realized how true he was!
While thinking, I did the searching and came across several types of research that had the same conclusion that outdoor playing helps kids grow emotionally. Mainly, there are three areas in which outdoor activities help children internally.
• Experience of different emotions. Pretended playing is a traditional way in which kids used to utilize their imaginary skills to come out of reality and boundaries. Well, nothing has changed as kids practice it today as well when they are taken to play with other kids. When kids are allowed to play freely, they express themselves in any way they want without fearing anything or anyone. As a result, they experience emotions even they themselves might not have observed before.
•Developing self-esteem and confidence. Outdoor playground equipment such as overhead hanging and climbers enable kids to use their skills to meet a given physical challenge. They utilize all the tricks and ideas and even take risks to prove themselves. When they meet their goal, it helps in building confidence and develops self-esteem. It makes them believe in themselves and they realize they can achieve what they want.
• The release of emotions from trauma. Free play doesn’t only help in physical growth, but it helps children in beating traumatic situations they have gone through.
Outdoor playing helps in overcoming distressed emotions due to war or natural disasters, family disruptions, and child abuse. When kids play, they take out their emotions and throw off all the negativities going on in their minds.
All in all, giving exposure to a playground is the best thing you can do to your kids. Don’t you want to give such a precious gift?