It's a simple fact that children love to play in the park. From the outdoor playset and slides to the swing set and sandbox, there is usually enough to keep a child occupied for quite a while. While you probably enjoy taking your children to the park, it is sometimes a hassle to get ready, load everyone into the vehicle, and drive to the nearest playground.
Parents have to ignore the fact that they may not always want to take their children to the park, however, because taking children to the park is helpful to their development. For example, taking children to the park is beneficial because:
- It allows them to use their imagination.
- They can discover new things.
- It's a good form of family time.
- It introduces children to adventure.
- They interact with other children.
- The playground is a good place to work on gross motor skills.
- Offers exercise opportunity.
Even if a backyard playset or swing set is an option, playing at a public playground is still beneficial to children. At a public park, children get to interact with other children, promoting a sense of citizenship from a young age. Children are able to interact and play with children of different races, cultures, and economic levels, giving them an early understanding of diversity.
Additionally, children learn how to appropriately interact with others using self-control by waiting patiently for their turn at the slide, monkey bars, or swing set. One other benefit of social interaction at the park is that they can watch and see how other children use the equipment, learning new techniques and movements.
Public playgrounds also allow children to build social confidence by communicating with other children while playing and having a fun time. It also allows children to become comfortable trying new things with their peers present, instead of shying away and watching the fun.
Designing a Backyard Playground
While you enjoy taking your children to the park, it may not be possible every day or even every other day. You can get around this problem by installing an outdoor playset right at home. It is important to mention that you should still get to a public playground as often as possible for social development, but backyard playsets are beneficial to children, as well.
The most important part of designing a backyard playground is safety. Parents must ensure that the playground is built soundly and with reliable hardware to prevent unexpected breaks or malfunctions. It is also a good idea to aim for material that won't cause splinters, snagged clothing, cuts, or pinched fingers.
Moving on to the essentials of a backyard playground, there are a few must-haves for a successful and fun play space. These essentials include:
- Climbing opportunity
- A roof
Tips for a Perfect Day at the Playground
When you escape the background playsets and head to the park, plan ahead to make sure you actually get to enjoy taking your children to the park. To have the perfect day at the playground, there are a few tips that should be followed that will leave you prepared in most any situation. These tips allow children to continue having fun without discomfort, annoyances, or pain and include:
- Apply sunscreen to everyone, especially children.
- Use bug spray to keep pesky bugs at bay and avoid insect bites.
- Ensure the child is wearing socks and tennis shoes that fit well.
- Always have a first aid kit nearby, like in the car or travel bag.
- Pack plenty of snacks and drinks.
- Bring sand toys for the sandbox.
Final Thoughts On Taking Your Children to the Park
Taking children to the playground is both fun and beneficial. When playing at a public playground, the child learns social/emotional skills like how to communicate with their peers and how to take turns in addition to all the physical development taking place. If visiting a public playground with an outdoor playset and swing set isn't a frequent option, having backyard playsets is beneficial in the way of gross motor development, making it a secondary option to visiting a public park.