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The Benefits of Motion in Play
November 3, 2014 | Comments

How certain movements affect child development

There is a lot more that goes into contemporary playground design than many people would realize. Did you know that every component of an engaging playground is evaluated based on learning outcomes, physical fitness components, problem solving, and the most essential element for any playground—fun?

The science of movement and the enjoyment that children experience when sliding down a tall slide, or climbing a visually engaging structure are all part of quality playground design. At American Parks Company we provide the industry’s best and most innovative playground structures to help communities and organizations incorporate learning and adventure into outdoor play.

Climbing Activities

Have you ever looked at a structure and questioned your ability to climb it? While adults may pause and assess the success of their climb, children are apt to simply give it their best, and tackle the climb with all the bravado of an expert climber. Why? Because to children, the best part of climbing at their local park or playground is the uncertainty of their ability to scale it. They are never sure if they will be successful, but they keep at it until they are.

Adding a climbing structure to your park is a valuable and essential part of outdoor fitness and experiential learning for children. It stimulates children with a physically challenging exercise, and rewards them with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Exhilarating Slides

The most popular event on any playground structure is the tallest slide. That is because children love the excitement of climbing to the top of the slide. That moment when they stand at the top, contemplating the fast trip to the bottom of the slide is memorable for them. It also challenges their sense of adventure and courage. Playground slides offer that exhilarating, high speed experience that children love, and they are a tremendous confidence booster for kids — which is why you tend to see repeat trips down the tallest slide in the park!

Swing and Spin

Learning about space and the science of physical movement is one of the reasons children love to play outdoors on commercial playground structures. Activities like the traditional swing set give children a fun independent play activity that offers cause and effect learning. The harder you swing, the higher you go. The higher you go, the more exciting the experience for kids of all ages.

Playground equipment designed to provide spinning movements provide an exciting and challenging activity, asking children to hold on while they enjoy the exhilaration of moving at a high speed. Balance skills and hand/eye coordination are also exercised on this type of structure.

Upper Decks and Bridges

Have you ever built a fort out of household furniture and blankets? Some features of commercial playground equipment, such as bridges and tall top decks capture the same sense of imagination used in playing fort. By pretending the structure itself has taken on some other form (like a fort, castle, ship, plane, or other vessel) kids are engaging in creative play. Cognitive studies have shown that the most critical skills a child can develop are learned while at free play on the playground.

The play structures we offer have been designed with imaginative play opportunities and movement about the structure taken into consideration. They capitalize on decks and bridge layouts that are optimal for pretend time, but they also include activity panels that will enhance the experience. The movement to and from play decks is varied by climbers, sliding poles, and balance beams.

Which Play Components are Important for You?

Contact one of our playground experts to help you choose the right commercial playground structures for your park. We can also help you augment your existing playground with stand-alone independent play components and add new and exciting physical and cognitive learning opportunities for children in your community.

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