When you have kids, you want to do everything you can to help with their development. But did you know that play equipment actually plays an important role in their development?
Play equipment encourages active play. This is physical activity that also includes bursts of high energy. This is an essential part of every child’s day. Children should be aiming to have three hours of active play spread throughout each day. Active play is so important because it:
- Helps build stronger bodies
- Develops coordination skills
- Builds self-esteem
- Improves critical thinking
- Healthy development of the brain
- Develops social interaction and emotional skills.
There are several types of play you can involve your children in. This includes structured and unstructured play.
Structured play includes rules, time limits and often play equipment. This can include sports activities, lessons, board games or puzzles. This helps children to learn how to follow rules, being more social with other children, and receiving rewards for following the rules. It’s important that while structured play has rules and an outcome, that this should still be child-driven play.
Unstructured play has no predetermined results, no rules and no steps to follow. It’s often made up on the spot by those participating. This encourages the children to use and develop their imagination and creativity. Unstructured play can include using materials such as paint, playdough, lego blocks, dress ups or toys. They are free to play with whatever they want for how long they want. Having no restrictive rules allows the child’s creativity to grow.
Parents and carers are an essential part of children’s play. It’s important for parents and carers to ensure there is time allotted every day for their children to play, whether that be indoors or outdoors. If you’re struggling to get your child to play outdoors, we have some tips. Children often love to help around the house. You can get your child to help outdoors with simple tasks such as weeding, sweeping or watering plants. Getting your children out of the house and taking them to the local park is sure to be a popular option. This gives children a new area to play in and more space to run around.
It’s important to make sure your play activities are age appropriate. Only get children to participate in play that is appropriate for their age, skills, and abilities. For the safety of the children, it’s important that they’re always supervised, especially if play activities are happening near water. If playing outside, encourage children to be sun smart by wearing hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen, and to keep hydrated by drinking water. Parents or carers should also be sun smart to set a good example.
Play not only helps children with their mental and physical development, but it’s a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship between child and parent or carer. It allows parents to get to know their child more, particularly in unstructured, imaginative play. Play is a pivotal part in the development of a child, so it’s important to encourage play time with your child every day.
If you’re looking to encourage play at your house, Aarons Outdoor has the solution. You can encourage your child to play outdoor in their new cubby house. We offer eight sizes and five elevation kits, so there is sure to be a cubby house that is perfect for your family and your backyard. We also offer forts and play equipment such as monkey bars, swings, slides and pirate ships.