Playing is essential for the physical, mental, intellectual and social well-being of children. It has an important impact on every aspect of their development and involves multiple facets.
Article 31 of the UNCRC (the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) establishes the right for children to play. The American Academy of Pediatrics (the prestigious American Paediatricians Association) recommends that children spend at least sixty minutes each day playing in the open air, emphasizing how essential unstructured play is for the development of children and their psychological well-being.
The playground includes all of these aspects: the chance to play outdoors and experiment with all 5 senses!
It has many advantages – let’s list which ones…
THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT REASONS TO BRING CHILDREN TO THE PLAYGROUND
1. Stimulates cognitive development
Outdoor free play helps improve concentration and helps children develop their problem-solving skills, ie to identify problems and solve them. Thus increasing security and self-confidence.
2. Encourages socialization
It is a meeting place for many children. Meetings that, depending on the age, can be transformed into new friendships or, for the little ones, be a source of stimulation and discoveries. Moreover, the park can become a place for meeting new people and building new relationships and sharing experiences even for adults. Meet other parents, chat, exchange ideas and pieces of advice, and maybe even get away from the hectic life.
3. Stimulates imagination and creativity
The park stimulates the imagination more than many toys. Everything can be transformed with fantasy; the child becomes the protagonist of ever new and different scenarios. And without the use of masks, but simply taking advantage of the surrounding environment.
4. It stimulates all 5 senses
Playing in the open air is, by definition, an activity that involves all of our senses. Especially for the little ones, who discover the world through sensory activity. Then the park becomes an ideal place for all ages. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for a short time and in the city, it still gives children the chance to get in touch with natural elements.
5. Improves health and reduces stress
Going to the park means moving. This helps children, even the little ones, to release the stress they inevitably accumulate with the small and big frustrations they face every day. In addition, physical activity strengthens the immune system and the sun helps improve vitamin D levels.
And the list of good reasons could go on and on! So let’s go out and take the kids to the playground in any season because, as I learned from the Norwegians, “there is no bad weather, just bad clothes”! So let’s dress well according to the season, but don’t give up on the playground experience!