With the steady increase of children relying on technology in the past decade, it’s now more important than ever to promote the benefits of community playgrounds. Today, children spend most of their lives indoors, which has led to reduced physiological and psychological well-being and opportunities for sensory exploration. Spending too much time indoors can discourage children from reaping the benefits of vigorous physical activity, social engagement and learning new cognitive and emotional skills.
Outdoor playgrounds provide free, unstructured play for kids and allow them to practice their creativity and imagination while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Research has even shown that being in nature during play reduces stress and anxiety while promoting positive social behavior. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of play and how it can benefit children in your community socially, physically and cognitively.
What Is a Commercial Playground?
A commercial playground is similar to a residential playground because they both have stand-alone equipment or combinations of play systems. However, commercial playgrounds are designed to accommodate a larger group of mixed-age children and supervising adults in accessible public places, such as schools, parks, faith centers, campgrounds and communities.
Commercial playgrounds are created to give children plenty of physical activity, social interaction opportunities and developmental benefits while nurturing their creativity and imagination. Many commercial playgrounds are equipped with multiple types of play equipment, such as slides, climbing structures, swings, activity panels and pretend play elements.
Physical and Health Benefits of Commercial Playgrounds
Playing on a commercial playground provides children with many physical and developmental health advantages, all while helping them explore their individuality. On commercial playgrounds, children may not even realize they’re exercising, which can help them value outdoor play and learn that physical activity can be fun.
Some physical and health benefits of community playgrounds include:
Improved sleep: Children who spend a significant amount of time outdoors and tire themselves out tend to sleep much better and wake up feeling more rested than if they were to spend their entire day indoors.
Strengthened muscles and immune systems: The more time kids spend outdoors playing and engaging in physical activity, the stronger their muscles will grow as they climb, crawl, stretch and swing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children experience at least one hour of moderate exercise daily. Playing on outdoor playgrounds can also improve children’s immune systems and reduce their chances of getting sick compared to playing indoors.
Improved development of motor skills: The development of fine and gross motor skills is one of the most important functions for young children. Playing on an outdoor commercial playground provides kids with many activities that help them use their muscles for walking, climbing, crawling, grasping, jumping and hand-eye coordination. Improving these motor skills may also help develop better physical instincts and situational awareness.
Lowered risk of health conditions and obesity: Kids often spend hours a day playing on tablets or watching TV after school, which can reduce the amount of time they spend exercising outdoors and lead to a sedentary lifestyle. Commercial playgrounds promote a more active lifestyle that promotes cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes.
Increased flexibility and balance: As children spend time on outdoor playgrounds and gain more physical and muscular skills, they also develop better coordination and agility to help them maintain their balance. Kids can also practice stretching their arms, legs and hands on a playground, which can help them become more flexible.
Cognitive Benefits of Commercial Playgrounds
Cognitive development in early childhood is extremely important because it helps children learn how to think, reason and use problem-solving and decision-making skills. While playing outdoors provides many physical health advantages, it also helps children strengthen their cognitive functions by introducing them to new experiences, textures, activities and interactions with others. Some cognitive commercial playground benefits include:
Improved attention span and concentration: Children who spend time playing outdoors are more likely to stay focused on a task and have increased attention spans, including children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This can benefit children in school when learning a new subject that requires focused attention for longer periods and help make school and homework assignments easier to complete.
Enhanced critical thinking and problem-solving abilities: Outdoor play empowers children to think more freely and come up with new ideas, which can help them improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, such as learning how to deal with conflict, complete an obstacle course or use a new play structure.
Enhanced creativity and imagination: Kids love to engage in pretend play, and a commercial playground sets the stage for them to be anything they want to be. By interacting with others and playing on colorful, creative equipment, children will be inspired to use their imaginations and develop characters, stories and games that can strengthen their creative skills.
Reduced frustration and anxiety: Research shows that children who play outdoors have lower rates of anxiety and depression. Getting to release pent-up energy outdoors can help kids feel calmer and relaxed when in school or at home. If a child feels anxious about something, letting them burn off these feelings outdoors can make them feel ready to take on new challenges.
Social Benefits of Commercial Playgrounds
One of the most important aspects of a community commercial playground is the promotion of inclusivity with other children. Commercial playgrounds encourage social interaction and engagement by bringing all children together to play and enjoy the outdoors. Kids who play outside can also gain a new sense of independence as they learn to overcome challenges, such as climbing a structure for the first time or interacting with a new friend and learning social skills.
Other social benefits of playgrounds include:
Improved collaboration and cooperation: Playing on an outdoor playground provides many opportunities to promote teamwork and cooperation while reducing conflict. On play equipment, kids learn to work together to achieve common goals, such as helping each other climb, completing an obstacle course, creating a game together or making a sandcastle.
Promotion of healthy relationships: Unstructured outdoor play allows kids to make new friends on their own terms. Building friendships through play is beneficial for social competence and emotional regulation. Meeting and interacting with new children from all walks of life can also help kids accept diversity and learn new social norms.
Improved patience and sharing: When it comes to play, kids need to learn how to take turns and share with others. On a playground, kids learn to wait their turn to go on the swing or slide and can even engage in other activities while they wait. This increased patience can help them learn how to play with others more respectfully.
Enhanced listening and communication skills: Inventing stories, learning to use new equipment and engaging in pretend play on a playground can help children learn how to listen carefully to others, ask for help and pay attention to their surroundings. Interacting with other children who have different thoughts, feelings and needs can help promote stronger communication skills.
Improved leadership skills: On playgrounds where there’s plenty of social interaction, many kids will develop leadership skills as they take the initiative to show others how to use equipment, pump their legs on a swing or explain the rules of a game.
Make Your Playground Dream a Reality With Playworx
Children deserve access to a community commercial playground that can help them strengthen essential skills and functions for healthy development. At Playworx, we know the importance of playgrounds and the benefits they provide to all kids. We pride ourselves on being a quality supplier for those who want to bring the excitement of play to their communities. From creative, custom playground equipment to surfacing to shade structures, we have everything you need to create a functional, well-thought-out playground.
Our team of professionals will design and install equipment to make your public park, apartment complex, campground or school become an imaginative, welcoming place for kids to play, explore and engage in physical activity. It’s our goal to provide fun that lasts and bring your vision to life. If you can dream it, we can build it!
Contact us today using our online form or give us a call at (866) 502-5013 to learn how we can bring your playground to life.