Play Is Key to Our Children’s Success

  • Playgrounds serve a vital role in promoting social and emotional development. Physical activity and good nutrition correlate with lifelong learning and improved performance for children in schools (as  well as adults at work). Our children need 60 minutes of play each day and as little as 15 minutes of exercise a day can improve reading scores and curb discipline problems in school. The playground is one of the best ways to get our children outdoors to develop their bodies – and minds.

Physical & Sensory Benefits of Play:

  • Builds strong bodies
  • Develops skills through repetitive movement (leg pumping, torso leaning, and pushing)
  • Promotes fitness and motor skills
  • Provides a sensation of movement, speed, height, and flying and affects sensory systems
  • Teaches about the force of gravity, jumping and landing, and adjustments to posture, develops balance, increases understanding of body positioning, weight transfer, and flow of movement

Play Helps Social/Emotional Development:

  • Supports important social skills
  • Builds confidence and feelings of success
  • Fosters cooperation, negotiation, turn taking and sharing
  • Helps children learn inclusive play principles (be fair, include others, smart, independent, safe, active, comfortable)
  • Provides a sense of control as children manipulate their own rate of speed and height

Play Supports Cognitive Development:

  • Provides opportunity for problem solving through dramatic play, planning and timing
  • Improves concentration and results in better performance in school
  • Supports creativity by allowing children to imagine situations and events like flying
  • Helps children create mental representation of things not physically present
  • Daily physical education improves reading by 50%
  • Just 20 minutes of walking before a test raised children’s scores (University of Illinois)

 

 

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