For children, the first years of development play an important role in what kind of adults they become. It can impact the career they choose, their willpower, their choice of life partner and many other of their life decisions. A child growing up on a rural farm may have the freedom of playing in the mud and exploring streams and open spaces, while a child growing up in the middle of a city may have everything within their arm’s reach – weather its school, shopping, or playgrounds.
Urban vs. Suburban life
According to scientific reports, children who grow up in cities spend about 30% more of their time in front of a screen than a child that grows up in a suburban or rural area. Though the negative effects of this have not yet been documented properly, it is suggested that children that play outside more often have better chances of doing well in subjects like mathematics, applied sciences, and biology. They also develop better social skills and interact better with others.
Cities can often be noisy and crowded, full of pollutants and other harmful environmental factors. On the other hand, schools and shops are closer – meaning less time in the car and more time for fun. Most cities also have big parks where children can play and socialize. In suburban areas, a lot more time is spent commuting from home to work and school, leaving less time for play.
The advantages of playing in natural playgrounds
Wherever you decide to raise your kids, it is important and possible to have natural play areas where they can develop cognitive skills, play, and socialize with other children. A well design playground can facilitate creative play, stimulate the imagination and help them to be physically active. No matter if the playground is in the country, a suburb, or an urban jungle – it should be fun, safe, and educational.
Modern playgrounds with natural resources
Playgrounds used to be built out of metal – scorching on hot summer days, and not very fall friendly. Modern playgrounds use earth friendly materials such as recycled lumber, recycled plastic and use scientifically proven education models to stimulate little adventurers.
A completely new trend in playgrounds is to mix up the rural and the urban – and introduce elements of nature into a manmade environment. Studies show that contact with nature reduces stress, and makes children better learners. Recent studies that show correlation between positive development and contact with nature – and these studies are now being used to develop amazing playgrounds that incorporate elements like water, boulders, trees, sand as well as whimsical recycled components.
Activity boards are also a newly popular element of modern playgrounds that concentrate on cognitive development. Things like moving parts, puzzles, wheels, and even oversized musical instruments can all become a part of the playground structure – these games can make children (and parents!) interact and play together.
Another exciting new trend is making a playground theme. How much fun would it be to discover a treasure island at your playground, complete with a pirate ship full of slides, surrounded by safe water features and boulder islands for the little buccaneers to explore? Or a fire truck with slides and hoses?
Modern playgrounds take the best of scientific research, imagination and a little bit of both country and urban life mixed all together. Parents always want their children to have the best of both worlds and it is becoming more and more possible – at least when it comes to playgrounds that have the power to affect them at an early age.
Article Submitted By Community Writer