From pour in place rubber to outdoor park benches, there are so many ways that we can make outdoor play spaces ideal for children of all ages and their families. After all, outdoor play is hugely important, but can only be participated in if there is a safe space to do it in. Unfortunately, far too many children are not getting the amount of physical play and physical activity in general that they are so very much in need of.
In part, this is due to the widespread usage of electronic devices by people of all different ages. Unfortunately, even the youngest of children often have unlimited or nearly unlimited access to various electronic devices, ranging from tablets to cell phones. In fact, it has been found that more than half of all parents in the United States – up to two thirds of them in total – fear that their own children are spending too much of their time busy with electronic devices instead of engaging in various types of physical play.
Unfortunately, this fear is far from unfounded, with older children (those who are between the ages of eight and eighteen) spending as many as four and half hours each and every day. And the average child will spend up to seven and a half hours using all electronic devices, which might range from the TV to include devices like tablets and cell phones (particularly smart phones), as has been briefly mentioned above. On average, the up to two thirds of all children are not getting the daily amount of physical activity that they should be, a mere twenty five minutes.
And the importance of physical play and physical activity is certainly not something to be glossed over by any means. In fact, physical play does far more than simply promote physical wellness (though this is, of course, an important component of it). But physical play can also help to promote brain development, particularly of the fine and gross motor skills. For children who do not participate in enough physical play, these motor skills are likely to end up stunted, something that is typically irreversible after the age of six has been reached and surpassed.
Fortunately, playgrounds are more popular than ever before all throughout the United States – and are safer than ever before as well. From pour in place rugger to a playground swing mat, steps have been taken to prevent serious injury or even death. Pour in place rubber has become particularly common, and pour in place rubber can be seen in local playgrounds as well as under school playground equipment. The addition of pour in place rubber to many different playground systems allows children to play freely without their parents or care takers needing to worry about any type of serious bodily harm.
And aside from pour in place rubber, the typical playground has so many things to engage the bodies and the minds of children of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. Handicap swing chairs, for instance, are becoming more popular than ever before, as have handicap accessible playgrounds on a whole. And the commercial sandbox has long been popular and continues to remain so.
In addition to this, outdoor basketball hoops and courts are typically available at playgrounds as well, allowing children to engage in a little bit of healthy competition and more structured play. Some children might even discover an aptitude or a passion for a sport like basketball all thanks to playing it frequently at their local playground.
Safe playgrounds with pour in place rubber can also help to encourage imagination, as children are typically free to explore and create and make up games to their heart’s content. And being bored is a great way to promote a healthy imagination (though only just over one third of all parents currently think so) which can help to boost brain power overall, as well as their general sense of creativity.
Technology is very important, of course, but so too is physical play. Encouraging your child to play physically is even essential to their overall brain development.