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Why Playgrounds Matter

December 19, 2014 |

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Why Playgrounds Matter

The benefits of getting children playing outdoors early in life are vast, and will continue to reward them throughout their lives. Such activity impacts their learning in a variety of domains, including: fitness and physical well-being, social development, cognitive and emotional reasoning skills, and in many other measurable areas. Making time for children to play is essential to their growth and healthy development.

As society begins to evaluate the impact of the sedentary lifestyle on children, clinical research points to proof that play is critical for kids.  Today children have more screen time (television, computer, and mobile access) than any other generation in our social history.  Additionally, at a lot of schools there is an increased emphasis in academic training, and prevalence to reduce athletic sports and involvement, either for budgetary or simple time management. More homework and less physical activity. More commitments and less free creative time. For most children, this includes unmanaged play time outdoors.

The cost of depriving children of engaging outdoor play opportunities varies from childhood obesity to higher levels of anxiety and stress in children at younger ages. Some studies have even suggested that many anxiety-related conditions in children may be attributable to misplaced energy; a disparity between the daily amount of exercise children need and what they are receiving.

The renaissance of the community playground is a movement that acknowledges the tremendous value that children receive from outdoor play. Whether engaged in group or independent play activities, kids thrive when given the opportunity to physically and socially challenge themselves. And the best place to do it? On the playground of course.

Why Do Kids Need to Play?


  • Time on the playground helps create social connections, form friendships and test and develop important social behavior skills such as communication, cooperation, problem solving and more.
  • Physical fitness is an essential aspect of healthy development. Challenging playground equipment tests the limits and inspires children to work on physical skill mastery in areas of balance, hand-eye coordination, visual acuity, leg and arm muscle development and spatial reasoning.
  • Imaginative and cognitive skills are further tested on commercial play structures that offer fun learning panels that are appropriate for independent or group play activities.
  • Emotional confidence is built when challenges are attempted successfully. Whether that means racing a friend to the top of a climbing component, or trying a new activity that has never been tried before. Look for the sense of accomplishment most children seek out on the playground.

When you consider the importance of quality, engaging playground designs and what the structures provide for children in their developmental years, you begin to understand why creating more playground time for kids is so important. And when it comes to designing the right playground experience for your community, consult with APCPLAY for help specifying the right structure with the right activities, for the right price.

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