Promote An Active Lifestyle, Take Your Child to the Playground

Promote An Active Lifestyle, Take Your Child to the Playground

Commercial playground equipment

What child doesn’t enjoy playing on a playground? With fun activities and toys like a tire swing, tube slide, swing set, and even a handicap swing, any home or business can transform a bit of green space into an outdoor play zone. Toss in a few park benches and trash cans and you’ll create a great area for families and friends to gather for picnics while little ones play. But do kids even play outside even more? Should they? Are playgrounds worth their investment? What about special needs equipment like a handicap swing?

It’s no secret that more and more kids are spending alarming amounts of time indoors in front of screens. From iPads and televisions to PCs and laptops, it seems that kids today would much rather sit inside and live a sedentary lifestyle. Kids are spending so much time indoors that a recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that kids between the ages of eight and 18 are spending a shocking 4.5 hours per day just watching TV, whether on the television set, phones, or other device. This isn’t great news because it’s not healthy for kids to stay indoors all day and remain sedentary. That being said, playgrounds are worth their investment, and adults should strive to incorporate as much outdoor play into their children’s day as possible.

Play is good for children of all ages. It teaches fine and gross motor skills, empathy, social skills, and problem solving skills, among others. It also stimulates brain development which will come in handy during school lessons, so why aren’t kids playing outside more? Well, it’s complicated. For starters, many schools are cutting back on recess or doing away with it altogether to make time for all the lessons that teachers are required to teach. Then there’s the fact that more and more parents have become comfortable with their children remaining sedentary at home playing on a device instead of outside. Chances are the parents are even living pretty sedentary lifestyles as well while they pass the time scrolling through social media apps.

To break this habit will take the combined efforts of parents and teachers alike. It will take adults realizing how important outdoor play is, and it will take parents taking their children to the park to play on playgrounds instead of allowing them to sit and play on devices for hours on end. Did you know that even though an estimated two-thirds of parents worry their children spend too much time on devices, few will actually make a concerted effort to motivate their children to be more active? Change really does begin at home, and it’s up to parents to be the role models and teach their children that living an active lifestyle is better than a sedentary one.

So what are you waiting for? Head out to your local playground and let your child enjoy all it has to offer. Many even offer options for special needs kids, such as a handicap swing.

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