Outdoor playground equipment boosts creativity in children. Studies show just 5 to 10 hours of outside play a week can substantially increase children’s curiosity, appreciation for the environment and expression of thoughtfulness.
As children play outside, they learn their own limits, what risks they can take and what is beyond their capabilities. Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children’s Hospital conducted a study in 2015 on the effects of outdoor play on children. Their findings were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and included the following:
- When children can take risks playing outside, they tend to play longer.
- Outdoor play time boosts social interactions among children.
- Those who play outside exhibit higher levels of creativity.
- Children who play outside exhibit higher levels of resiliency.
In conclusion, the study supports the use of outdoor playground equipment for healthy child development.
Despite the many benefits of outdoor play, parental and societal concerns, surrounding children’s safety, have greatly diminished most children’s opportunity to engage in such play when compared to children of past generations.
A UBC review on child injury prevention titled, “Risky Play and Children’s Safety: Balancing Priorities for Optimal Child Development” argues the following two points:
- “Children have a natural propensity towards risky play; and,
- Keeping children safe involves letting them take and manage risks.”
The key to balancing outdoor play and safety is appropriate supervision. Check that playground and recreational equipment is age appropriate for your child. Remove any items that could trip or entangle your child while at play. Redirect your child if he or she is engaging in a dangerous activity. However, researchers who support risky outdoor play for healthy child development caution against guiding their every move. In order for children to develop their own skills and confidence, they need to be able to make their own decisions when it comes to problem solving and negotiating with others on the playground.
Looking for creative ideas? Go outside! Studies show children who play outside exhibit higher levels of creativity. Pro Playgrounds offers a wide variety of outdoor playground and recreational equipment that will stimulate your child’s creative side, all while complying with ASTM and CPSC playground safety standards. Explore our selection today!