Playgrounds Get Safer (and More Fun)
As playgrounds became a selling point for fast food restaurants, parks, and schoolyards, the business of playground manufacturing took off. As play equipment became more popular and common around every corner, safety regulations soon caught up. Potentially unsafe equipment was modified, and certain structures like climbing domes soon left most play areas due to risk of injury.
With new and improved safety features and more technology on the playground’s side, we can now offer features like shock-absorbing rubber mulch, strong, durable redwood on our playsets, and safety nets and padding on our trampolines. Not to mention, all of these years of kids playing have helped the playground industry develop some pretty cool new additions, like rope ladders, climbing walls, and tons of accessories that add to the play experience.
The Research is in
We now know after looking at the research that these add ons aren’t just for extra fun—playing on a playground can actually have many benefits besides putting a smile on your face. Playgrounds help promote healthy physical and mental development in children, including improving coordination and cooperation skills. The health benefits of playgrounds even extend to children with autism.
The New Playground
Just like when concept of the playground began gaining traction in America in the beginning of the 20th century, community organizers today still believe that the benefits of play are critical for children. Where access to playgrounds is scarce due to ill-maintained equipment or unsafe streets, new programs come in with solutions.
One of these movements is the pop-up playground. Neighborhood leaders section off a street on a certain day and promote play for all ages and try to teach kids sustainable habits. Charity groups also step in where playgrounds are needed most, securing the funds and materials to ensure all children have the opportunity to play.
As we learn more and more about the benefits playgrounds have on kids and their communities, the future of the playground is bound to be bright. Stop by your local playground with your kids and see what the all the talk is about—odds are good you’ll all leave a little bit happier!Tweet