Encourage Children to Spend Time Outdoors With a Well-Maintained Playground
While some children may not need any encouragement to go outside and play, others often do. Since there are so many other activities vying for their attention, such as television shows, cell phones, and computer games, they may prefer to engage in those activities instead. In today’s world, learning how to use technology is not only an important skill to develop, it can also be a valuable skill. Given this, it’s important for parents and other family members to encourage children to engage in outdoor play as well.
A recent survey showed that 83% of the parents agreed that learning how to use technology was important. However, nine out of ten of these parents indicated that they would rather have their children play outside. The Kaiser Family Foundation, for example, found that children between the ages of eight to 18 spend 4.5 hours a day watching television. This includes watching television on the Internet as well as their mobile phones. Without parental and other sources of encouragement, there’s a good chance that the children themselves may not even considering going outside for some exercise.
It’s clear that children of all ages need to engage in activities that develop their motor skills. According to research, if they haven’t developed efficient motor skills by the time they are five years of age, it’s likely that they will never do so. Playing outdoors has been demonstrated to assist children with developing these and other essential skills.
Some parents may not be aware of the recommended amount of exercise for their children. The Sports and Fitness Industry Association has classified what constitutes an “active to healthy level” of exercise for children. This amounts to engaging in high-calorie-burning physical activity three times a week for only 25 minutes. While children can engage in this level of activity in their own back or front yards, taking them to parks and playgrounds can also accomplish this task. Furthermore, it can be a lot more fun for them as they will be able to engage in play with other children.
Since it’s so important for children to have a safe and fun place to play, playgrounds need to be well-maintained. In addition to outdoor park benches so parents, family members, and friends can watch the children play, trash cans and other amenities are also necessary.
When it comes to the playground equipment itself, such as swing sets and tube slides, these need to be inspected on a regular basis. While some playgrounds may have sand surrounding play equipment, many now have rubber matting or a combination of both. This matting also needs to be inspected and repaired when needed.
Playground parts do need to be replaced on occasion. While there are a variety of reasons for this, normal wear-and-tear and inclement weather are at the top of the list. Since many parks with playgrounds have temporary or permanent bleachers, these also need to be well-maintained and kept clean for safety reasons.
If you are responsible for maintaining a playground, whether it’s at an apartment complex, on school grounds, or located in a public park, it’s important to have a variety of playground parts on reserve. In addition to having playground parts and repair kits available, keeping the grounds free of debris and other health hazards is also essential. Since you want to protect children, their friends, and family, it’s also an excellent idea to install a dog waste station and a good supply of waste bags.