The Role of Playgrounds in Child Development

Handicap Accessible Playground Equipment

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” - Friedrich Froebel (Community Playthings).

Swinging, climbing, games, and free play are more than activities children participate in to release energy. What we view as mindless play is, in fact, developing a multitude of skills. Swinging helps develop balance and coordination, as well as fine and gross motor skills. Playing on overhead equipment, such as monkey bars, expand these skills as well. Climbing promotes body awareness and directionality, while also developing their problem-solving and making predictions. Playing ball games gives children the opportunity to increase motor coordination skills, learn how to follow rules, how to strategize and problem-solve, and how to communicate with others. Free play encourages communication and, therefore, increases vocabulary and socialization skills. (Understand.Org)

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), children learn through play. Cognitive skills are developed through problem solving and pretend play; running, swinging, and climbing increase physical abilities; language skills increase just through communicating with other children; and children learn to be social by playing together and having fun. Through play, children grow strong and healthy. Their anxiety and stress is reduced as they grow emotionally. They learn to establish and follow rules, many they create themselves as they devise new games. Play provides learning opportunities for children, which has a positive impact on their self-esteem.

The benefits of playgrounds and parks are not limited to child’s play and building neighborhood camaraderie. It has been found that spending time with new friends, participating in recreational activities, and enjoying nature are important in maintaining good mental health. Finnish researchers found that “ten minutes in a park or urban woodland are could tangibly reduce stress.” This is true for children as well. Playgrounds and parks afford parents opportunities to bond with their children. Pushing them on the swings, waiting to catch them when they reach the bottom of the slide…priceless memories. 

As children grow, so do their development skills. Toddlers become more social and interactive. School-aged children need to be challenged. Eye-hand coordination increases, along with motor skills, problem solving, and social interaction. Climbing and free-standing pieces provide children with opportunities to build confidence. Bliss Products can design playgrounds to enhance a child’s self-confidence and developmental skills and address social and physical inclusion. All children deserve the right to play. (Play & Park)

Bliss Products and Services knows the positive impact playgrounds have in communities. For over 30 years, they have lived up to their strong reputation by providing quality products to meet the needs of cities, communities, schools, and the people who utilize them. Their early childhood equipment and activities can be customized to fit specific needs, and are designed to stimulate the senses while keeping children entertained.