Being able to play on a playground is an exhilarating experience for a growing child. Playgrounds offer many ways to develop fine motor skills, social skills, and are a good source of exercise. A child might not have preference between playing on an indoor or outdoor playground, but as a parent or caregiver, it is good to know how they compare.
Benefits of Indoor Playgrounds: Safety and Sanitation
Indoor playgrounds have several advantages. One good thing about indoor playgrounds is that they are accessible during any season. Indoor playgrounds are more likely to have areas designated to boost imagination and creativity such as role playing villages. There is also a lower chance of injury because many indoor playgrounds are equipped with cushions, ball pits, and tumble mats. If you are concerned about germs, indoor playground are also more sanitary than outdoor playgrounds due to the fact that they undergo regular cleaning.
Benefits of Playing in the Sun
Outdoor playgrounds also have many advantages. One thing everyone young and old can get from outdoor playgrounds is vitamin D. The only sources through which people get this vitamin are through natural sunlight and milk. Children need 400-600 IU per day to help build stronger bones. Vitamin D is also important in adults because it prevents heart disease.
Benefits to Eyesight
There have been some studies that have looked at the benefits of outdoor playgrounds. One study has shown improved eyesight, lowering the risk of nearsightedness in children and adolescences. Another study showed an increased attention span in multiple areas proven by an increased ability to learn, absorb, and retain information. These results have been linked to an increased vitality and performance level.
Benefits of Physical Activity
Outdoor playgrounds have more areas to implement physical activity. Outdoor playgrounds tend to have more space in between structures, giving children more room to run between activities. Children who play regularly outdoors are less likely to be overweight. Outdoor playgrounds also usually offer a variety of climbing structures that can help improve physical endurance and develop motor skills in children.
Benefits of a Multi-Sensory Experience
Outdoor playgrounds shape a multi-sensory experience. Children are able to play and connect with nature at the same time. This experience fosters a love for the outdoors at a young age. Children learn to appreciate nature while developing, thus decreasing the risk of sensory overload due to diverse atmospheres with minimal exposure. Regular outdoor play has also shown to reduce stress and fatigue.
Benefits of Lowering Screen Time
Did you know that the average child in the United States has six hours of screen time per day between home and school? Allowing your child to have playtime is a good way to stimulate their mind and bodies away from the screen. It is important in a child’s development to be able to play on a playground, indoors or outdoors. Each type of playground has exclusive offerings, but both have advantages and will create lasting memories.
For more information about indoor and outdoor playgrounds, contact T. F. Harper & Associates LP, located in Austin, TX.