Playground parts have become incredibly varied as the years have passed, from playground climbers to the plastic tire swing to heavy duty swing set parts. For many people, the playgrounds of yesteryear have all but vanished, replaced by the playground parts of today. However, playgrounds are just as important for children in a number of different ways.
For one thing, the children of today are all too often not getting enough physical activity, something that can set them up for obesity and a number of health problems later on in life. Unfortunately, only around one third of all children are getting the daily physical activity that they need (less than half of an hour of high calorie burning activity), and much of it is due to too much screen time. For instance, the typical child is getting up to seven and half hours of screen time, enough that up to two thirds of all parents are worried about how frequently their child or children use technology instead of getting out in the world and playing.
There’s no denying it that learning about technology is important, something that very nearly eighty five percent of all surveyed parents very much agreed with. But it’s also true that technology should not take the place of active and physical play – and of being bored and developing the power of creativity and imagination. Of course, these things are important in their own right, something that a staggering ninety percent of parents believe as well.
In addition to physical play on various playground parts helping to prevent obesity, playground play also helps to stimulate brain activity, particularly the development of fine motor skills as well as gross motor skills. These motor skills typically must be fully developed by the time that a child reaches the still relatively young age of six. If this does not happen, it is unfortunately likely to be the case that their fine and gross motor skills will never be fully developed, which can put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives, especially when it comes to their coordination skills.
And anxious parents need not fear, as playground parts have been developed to be safer than ever before in the history of play and playgrounds. Pour in place rubber, for example, has become commonplace in playgrounds all throughout the United States. Playgrounds with pour in place rubber provide a soft cushioning for falling children to land on. And children fall. It’s part of testing their bodies and misjudging them and is, on a whole, simply an important part of growing up. But when children land on concrete or other hard material, things can take a dangerous turn – something that can fortunately be prevented with the use of pour in place rubber.
And aside from an increased focus on safety, playground parts have become more innovative than ever before, more designed to inspire creativity and problem solving in children of all ages. For instance, rock climbing hand holds have become popular in many a playground, allowing for children to challenge their bodies and grow their strength and coordination in new and exciting ways that they have not yet attempted.
Accessibility has also improved in playgrounds and playground parts, and the addition of wheelchair swings is being seen more frequently. In addition to this, playgrounds that are specifically designed to be handicap accessible are springing up all over the country. For children who deal with mobility issues and physical limitations, ordinary playgrounds and playground parts are often largely off limits, especially when it comes to engaging in independent play. However, the growing access to handicap accessible playgrounds could really change all of this, and provide a positive play experience for all types of children throughout the country.
Playground amenities are also increasing. Playground trash cans help to encourage playground patrons to keep the playgrounds clean and outdoor park benches allow parents to sit down and relax while their children have fun. Even just one park bench can make a big difference in overall playground enjoyment that parents are able to have. After all, watching kids play can be quite enjoyable.