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7 Reasons Why Kids Need Playgrounds

Most of us adults, and especially those of us who are parents, would likely agree that it’s pretty essential for any kid to pay regular visits to the playground as they grow up.

Unfortunately, it’s also pretty likely that most kids these days won’t have that same mindset - after all, between smartphones, video games, and Netflix, most of them see little reason to waste any of their free time outdoors.

And for that reason, folks, we’d like to take a few moments to briefly go over seven major reasons why you, as adults, ought to be sure that you’re making the effort to ensure that your kids are spending a decent amount of time on the playground.

● Physical health
This one’s perhaps the most obvious, but also one of the most essential.

You’ve likely heard the stats by now - childhood obesity is worse than it’s ever been. In the United States alone, nearly one in five children are considered obese. It’s little less than a worldwide crisis; and as parents, we have a responsibility to protect our children from this.

And what better way to do so than to bring them to the playground, where physical exercise is made to feel far more fun and exciting than it is in PE class? Not only are we helping them stay thin, we’re helping them develop habits that’ll keep them healthy for life.

● Emotional health
This one may be a bit less obvious, but it’s no less vital.

Simply put, there are tons of ways in which regular visits to a playground will help a child stay emotionally balanced, as well as physically so. After all, you likely know that physical activity releases endorphins, which stabilise one’s mood. What’s more, overcoming the physical obstacles that a playground presents a child with can do a great deal in helping that child build self-confidence and self-esteem.

● Social health
Just as essential as the others is this one. Playgrounds, as you likely know, are one of the best places that kids can interact with each other on their own terms, while still operating in a safe environment. This is highly important, as it gives kids a chance to understand the nuances of social interaction - of understanding boundaries, respecting social etiquette, and having fun in a safe and natural manner.

● Growing imagination
It sounds cliche to say, but only because it’s been true for so long: screens are, in many ways, stunting kids’ ability to use their imaginations. When they come up with their own scenarios on the playground, through nothing but the power of their mind, they’re testing and exploring the limits of their imaginations. It’s absolutely essential for retaining their creative side as they grow into adulthood.

● Making education fun
Admittedly, this one applies mostly to school playgrounds, but it’s still an important one.

Let’s face it: most kids don’t jump for joy at the idea of going to school. It’s just not something that they fancy spending their time doing. By providing them with a playground to run around in during breaktime, we’re giving them both something to look forward to during the day, and a place to work out any frustrations that may crop up during a less ideal day at school.

● Interaction with the natural world
Playgrounds really are one of the best places for kids to interact safely with nature. Sure, said nature consists of simple things like water, sand, grass and trees; but those are just as much elements of the natural world as anything else. And by interacting with these base natural elements, kids are given the opportunity to develop a curiosity about the greater complexities of nature.

● Independence
Even when playtime on the playground is being supervised by adults, it can represent a great opportunity for kids to develop their independence. For the most part, on a playground, kids are not given any particular set of predetermined rules to play by. Rather, they are given the resources to play - the games they indulge in are their own choice. Thus, by being allowed their own free reign on the playground, children are learning, in a safe way, to exist on their own terms.

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