It goes without saying that we all want the best for our kids. We want them to be physically healthy, emotionally happy and strong enough mentally to triumphantly overcome any obstacle the world dishes out. As a result, we often over-prepare them from an early age with classical music in the womb and other unnecessary measures. Preparing our children for happy, successful lives doesn’t need to consist of classes and other costly things—something as simple as time spent at a playground can teach countless lessons about life.
Here are three ways that playgrounds can help prepare our children to succeed in life.
1. The school playground is a cost-free way for kids to get exercise.
Playgrounds help kids stay physically fit and keep body weight in check. This can be especially important in a time when obesity and childhood on-set diabetes is so prevalent.
Games like tag, hide and seek, blind man’s bluff and other classic playtime favorites can actually offer a lot of aerobic exercise.
In addition, the range of different playground equipment (like slides, ladders and swings) helps strengthen different areas of the body. Slides require that kids engage their cores, while ladders and swings require arms and leg muscles to get moving.
2. For emotionally/socially well-adjusted children, play helps.
Look beyond the physical benefits (which would be reason enough for playground time), and you will also learn that there are a lot of social and emotional benefits to outdoor play.
Exercising creativity is one thing that kids do on playgrounds. Using creativity helps kids develop analytical and problem solving skills, which are invaluable resources for succeeding in school, jobs and relationships. One example is playing “house” or other popular pretending games.
At the same time, when children are playing in pairs or groups, they are improvising important social skills, too. Learning how to cooperate, lead and even follow during a game with others are also valuable skills that will help a child in all of the aforementioned areas of his/her life.
3. Playgrounds offer children a myriad of other benefits, too.
The benefits don’t end at physical and mental capacities, either. Children learn balance at an early age on playgrounds, keeping themselves steady while riding on spring riders. They also learn hand-eye coordination while swinging from bar to bar on the monkey bars.
Bring your child to a local playground today to experience the beneficial effects for yourself.