So, you plan to take your children to the playground to burn some of that energy off, right? Well, the great news is that a playground from EcoPlay Structures provides so much more benefit to your children’s health than just running around and swinging from the overhead climbers. There are a multitude of essential life, leadership, and developmental skills children learn on the playground while they’re engaged in Planet Friendly Fun.
1. Flexible Thinking
Playing on the playground helps teach flexible thinking skills. For instance, learning to pivot in a new direction when planning to go to a certain slide and then realizing there are 5 kids waiting to go down the same slide. It’s crucial to their early development to recognize and understand roadblocks and how to approach things differently, take an alternate path, or come back to it later.
2. Conflict Navigation
Teaching kids how to navigate confrontation and express their emotions, whether someone cuts in front of them on the way to the clatter bridge or says something mean, is an essential early social skill. It promotes problem-solving, asking questions, and educates them about adversity.
3. Safety First
Playground play is a great way to teach children about the importance of safety. From not going on a structure that is meant for older children to not wearing jewelry or very loose clothing, it’s a valuable time to have those conversations.
4. Early Cognitive Skills
EcoPlay Structures Play Panels teach children Forms and Shapes, Spatial Orientation, Depth and Size, recognizing themselves in mirrors for the very little ones and much more. They are the perfect complement to what children are learning at home and school, plus they are tons of fun!
5. How to Play Alone
Sometimes you visit the playground with your child early in the morning and you’re the only ones there. That’s a great thing! It is important for children to have unstructured play and to learn how to entertain themselves without always have a parent/teacher/friend/sibling around to interact with.
6. About the Earth
With EcoPlay Structures, you can include a lesson about the importance of using eco-friendly materials and doing your part to keep our planet clean. Take the time to talk about how EcoPlay play structures are made from clean, recycled HDPE plastics (such as milk jugs); then, look for craft projects using recycled milk jugs to keep the learning going!
7. Physical Strength & Coordination
The more children play, the stronger they become! Brachiating is when children swing from one arm to the next, i.e. on the overhead climbers. It has a ton of benefits, from improving depth perception to increasing flexibility and endurance. As children get stronger, their coordination improves, and they can do things faster. Their confidence grows, and they recognize how much they are growing while on the playground.
8. How to make friends!
Perhaps the best lesson of all. Children learn to find things in common with others, go out of their comfort zones and introduce themselves, and build their social skills when interacting with others. It also helps build confidence each time they have a positive interaction, and resilience when they have a negative one.