Play is important, and it is essential that parents, teachers, and school administrators know this as children across the country approach the end of their first full month of classes for the new school year. Although no one is denying the importance of reading, writing, and arithmetic, the latest research shows that children, especially elementary children, seriously benefit from getting fresh air and exercise at least once a day. Ideally, in fact, students wold have a chance to get out in the fresh air and enjoy free play time twice a day.
In a time when many schools are focusing on the academic materials that are needed in the classroom, the best districts, often with the help of parent organizations, are also adding new parts to playground areas. From spaces for kickball and jump rope to poured rubber playground areas with plenty of opportunities to climb, swing, and jump, the best educators are recognizing the importance of allowing children to play during the day so they can return to the room focused and ready to learn.
- The different kinds of swing seats that are available allow children of different ages and abilities to enjoy the freedom of flying through the air.
- It is important for parent organizations and school districts to realize the need for playground climbers that allow children to get the exercise they need during the day.
- Making sure that rock climbing hand holds are properly positioned can help create parts of these structures that are easy for beginners and more challenging for more advanced students.
- Estimates indicate that 66% of parents worry their child spends too much time on electronic devices, so a well designed play ground is a perfect alternative.
- Four-fifths, which is equivalent to 83%, of parents surveyed indicated it is important their children learn to use technology, but nine out of 10 would prefer their children to spend their time outdoors, away from electronics.
- One way that teachers are helping make sure that children are playing games when they are outdoors is to paint four square and gaga ball courts on the blacktopped areas.
- Resourcefull school districts make sure that they have spare playground parts on hand in case any repairs are necessary.
- Playing stimulates brain development. In fact, research have shown that it is essential for children to have regular opportunities for a variety of gross motor activities.
- Lack of interaction that allows for gross motor activities in their first six years leaves children with a lifetime of limited brain power.
- According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, children between the ages of eight and 18 spend more than hours each day watching TV in various forms. This non active time includes hours that are spent on their mobile phones and the internet.
- You can make sure your children are getting the outdoor playtime that they need by helping their schools make sure they have enough funding for safe and creative playground equipment.
School may have only been in session for a month so far, but that is enough time for parents, teachers, and school administrators to remember that children need TIME TO PLAY if they are going to be productive in the classroom. Fortunately, by allowing children to have plenty of parts of a playground to decide for themselves how they want to spend their time and who they want to play with, this free time also allows children to build their social skills and use their imagination.