What makes taking your kids to the playground so special? For them, it’s probably the big slides and equipment to climb on that they can’t experience at home. For you, it’s probably a combination of getting your kids active, keeping them healthy and tiring them out.
The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and the Voice of Play were curious as to what really draws parents and children to the community playground, so we asked parents, simply, why?
“[It gives my daughter] a chance to play, to explore, meet other kids and get exercise,” a respondent said. “Play is so important to their development and confidence.”
“I want my kids to be outside and running around,” another said. “They also interact with other children in the neighborhood and learn how to share and get along.”
All in all, the playground is a safe place for free play with a change of scenery for the whole family.
According to a recent survey of 55 respondents, conducted by IPEMA and the Voice of Play, 67 percent of families visit the playground one to two times a week to get some fresh air and sunlight and 22 percent visit three or more times a week.
It’s great to see that a majority of families are regularly visiting the playground, but how involved are parents when they get there? Eighty-seven percent of parents are very hands-on and involved with their children at the playground, or they let them go off and play with close supervision. Only 13 percent allow their children to go off and play with minimal supervision while on the playground. Even though going to the playground can be a time for bonding with the kids, don’t forget that independent play builds relationships, strengthens bonds and fosters learning.
Playgrounds have definitely changed in appearance over the years, but the favorites have remained the same. When we asked parents what their kids enjoyed most at the playground, swings and slides were the top choices. Tunnels/tubes, ladders, monkey bars and imaginative play were also popular.
It can be tough to make time for a trip to the playground amidst your busy schedule, but even just a few times a month can make all the difference in your child’s growth and development—and it’s a great way to relax outdoors after a stressful day at the office!
So, how do you and your children make the most out of a trip to the playground?
Independent play builds relationships, strengthens bonds and fosters learning. What do your kids enjoy doing the most out on the playground?
Photo courtesy of Voice of Play.