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By Korey

There is no doubt that both spontaneous and structured play can benefit childhood development, but how can you accomplish both at the same time?

Throw in a theme.

There is more to playgrounds than just monkey bars and slides. There is also the opportunity for children to create boundaries and storylines within an open space and amid free play.

Transforming a play area into a prehistoric wonderland can stimulate both the body and the mind. Anyone who has ever exercised knows that physical activity changes the way you think.

Albert Einstein commented on his theory of relativity, "I thought of it while riding my bicycle." The creative hunter, focused on finding dinosaurs, will have a laid-back attitude while on the playground—allowing creativity and imagination to expand, and the brain to develop.

And when he’s done being a caveman, he might want to visit a castle.

Scaling rope ladders that lead to high towers and crossing mesh net bridges are key to developing motor skills. Not knowing what activity is coming next increases coordination as your child works to keep up with the game.

The ability to think on your feet evolves when rules and actions are ever changing. A child’s imagination may urge him to rescue a friend while avoiding the moat beneath the playground—increasing problem solving skills at a rapid pace.

Rope and net playgrounds promote more than just a serious work out. While cardio, core balance, muscular development, and flexibility are common goals when designing a playground, the effects this type of play have on the mind are just as important. Psychology Today says, “Sweat is like WD-40 for your mind-–it lubricates the rusty hinges of your brain and makes your thinking more fluid.”

Then, after he leaves the castle, he’ll probably be ready to make music.

It’s possible to use music to help your child retain information and enhance learning. Chris Brewer, founder of LifeSounds Educational Services says sounds can help to hold our attention, evoke emotions, and stimulate visual images. “Students of all ages—that includes adults— generally find that music helps them focus more clearly on the task at hand and puts them in a better mood for learning,” says Brewer.

Students who attend schools where their outdoor play structures incorporate musical instruments could benefit from the positive influence music has on the mind and from the cooperation it takes to create melodies and beats with others.

Music has long been considered a conduit for communication and expression, and it takes organization, trust, and specific boundaries to compose a tune with harmonies that are pleasing to the ear. The combination of verbal and non-verbal communication learned will serve children well past their first concert or crazy jam out session on the playground.

Once he’s done running around, he’ll need to cool down.

Splashing at the water park doesn’t have to mean crowding around one fountain in the center of a cement slab, hoping for a few drops to hit your face. After a long day of hunting dinosaurs, climbing high towers, and composing symphonies, cooling down should be just as fun.

Coming home to a community playground with water cannons and raining mushrooms can be the perfect end to an active day. Meeting up on colorful, inventivewaterslides with friends who have been busy with their own adventures is a great way to keep up with socialization.

If you give a kid the right tools, he can really go places.

Fresh air and sunshine have long been regarded as the guardians of health and development in children. But throwing in an imaginative, creative playground will spark a wealth of well-being and good habits that can follow a child into adulthood.

The effects of early childhood development are more than just the obvious physical progress we normally associate with free play. Compromise, adaptation, and tolerance are just some of the positive outcomes of being thrown into a situation with kids of many ages and backgrounds.

The younger kids may work harder to keep up with the older ones, and the perspective gained from other’s ideas will be invaluable as these kids grow up to function as healthy adults.

There is no doubt that both spontaneous and structured play can benefit childhood development, but how can you accomplish both at the same time?

Kraftsman is committed to enhancing communities with their passion for fun and adventure. Their attention to the specific needs of their customers and to the rules and regulations of Homeowner Associations shows in the products they create, with safety and functionality always being the priorities.

Kraftsman has set the industry standard and been recognized for quality. The value of what we build extends to every corner of the communities we serve, including economic development, interactional diversity, and the creative expression of each visitor.

TAGS: THEMED PLAYGROUNDS


Korey Soderberg

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