Childhood play is important for more than just physical activity. When children get out and play, they exercise their minds as well as their body. This is even more true when they play at a playground. Playgrounds are the hallmark of childhood play for a reason. They’re a place where children and parents come together. These areas combine play with social interaction which leads to several different areas of development in children.
Playgrounds – The Foundation of Childhood Play
I remember going to the playground when I was a kid. It was the spot that all the kids congregated to. Jungle gyms, swings, seesaws, balance beams, and whatever else we could find became vehicles for our imaginations and social development.
I was the princess in the “tower” – the highest point of the jungle gym. I was an astronaut climbing a “mountain” – those metal climbing domes. I ran obstacle courses, which was basically just hopping and diving over and under all the playground structures. And I did it all with my friends in the neighborhood. We traveled the universe, all while staying at the playground.
But that’s not where the benefits of playgrounds end. While I and my friends traveled to faraway lands, our parents connected, as well. Playgrounds are more than play areas, they are community hubs. That’s why I love to take my daughters to the playground to this day. They love to hang out with their friends and come up with all sorts of games and activities, and it helps me get some adult time in with the other moms and dads.
Childhood Play and How it Relates to Social Skills
Those days shaped me. I learned how to play with others. I learned how to solve problems. I learned that no matter where I was, I could be anywhere or anything. I learned how to problem solve in social situations and how to deal with people who maybe I didn’t like the best in the world. And all of those lessons helped me later in life by teaching me empathy, persistence, leadership, competition, bravery, support, and being a good person, in general.
Landscape Structures, a complete playground structure company, knows the importance of childhood play. That’s why they’ve partnered with the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Childhood Development to research how play helps develop qualities like leadership, teamwork, perseverance, and social relationships. Playgrounds become so much more than childhood play areas. They become vehicles for childhood learning.
Check out this video, “For a Better Tomorrow, We Play Today”, an inspiring video about playgrounds and childhood play.
Childhood Play – A Key to Development
Childhood play, especially at playgrounds, is a key component to childhood development. Playgrounds are hubs for imaginative play, as well as teaching children how to be confident, fair, empathetic, team players and how to problem solve effectively in social situations.