Why are playgrounds important?
Playgrounds are extremely important for the mental and physical health of a child. They are not just fun places for children to play at; they also help them in spending their free time and develop essential skills in life. Playgrounds help all kinds of kids, even those with learning issues.
An old proverb, “all work and no play, makes Jim dull and gay” holds true for children of all ages. Various researches have been done to establish a relationship between work and play. Playgrounds provide vital opportunities for the kids to play.
Playgrounds enhance brain development, motor skills and also social capabilities. Emotional, social, motor and cognitive learning is accelerated and facilitated by the pleasure given by playing. Playgrounds promote different kinds of plays that help in child’s physical, emotional, cognitive and also social development.
Research shows that the most crucial time for the development of a child’s brain is during his/her initial years. Play stimulates the brain development and function. Playground gives a space for a child to enrich, build and expand his cognitive development through the act of playing. Eg. Game throwing. It helps the child to learn the art of motor coordination. He makes strategies about his target and works on critical thinking for solving problems.
Depending on the child’s development stage, the playgrounds can stimulate physical development which helps the child to encode and decode movement, control movements, inhibit his reflexes and develop motor skills. Eg. Swinging. This basic playground activity enables the child to learn the art of balance, learn gross motor skills, and learn coordination and also helps in making the brain learn the sense of speed and direction. This is extremely helpful for children who have visual perception issues. Rope climbing is another activity which makes the child aware of directions and encourages flexible thinking to help in problem solving.
Playgrounds help the child to learn about his own self and his own capabilities, to be a decision-maker and get a break from the daily humdrums of life. Playground also helps the child to develop imagination, intelligence and also language. Playground is a platform that gives ample opportunities for a child to engage with other members and interact.
Through playing, a child learns the social and cultural rules, experience emotions, and explore the social symbols. Eg. Free Play- this is simply playing games with other kids. This strengthens their social circle and helps them to interact with each other. The social interactions help them to understand the basics of communication and social manners. This also piques up their curiosity.
By playing, a child learns through physical and mental trial-and-error process, through interaction with peers and develops the ability to judge and discriminate between relevant and irrelevant information. Lack of playgrounds can make a child passive.
Playgrounds aid in the development of social skills. Eg. A child creates spontaneous new games to create interest. The rules of the game vary according to the little one’s imagination. They learn to negotiate-compromise and yet work together, to tolerate and hold in their frustration because they know that rules are rules and one has to abide by them or else they won’t be able to play the game. Such kind of practise helps the child to grow into a person with patience. The rough play activities even activate the higher brain to regulate emotions and that in turn, helps the child to manage his feels better.
Playgrounds provide a safe environment which is suitable to cater to every need of a child and to enhance his skills. Thus, playgrounds are extremely important for the growth and development of an individual.