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This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as pat of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.
The weather is warming up and my son is a huge fan of playing outside. I mean, this kid could spend hours with minimal breaks for water or bathroom breaks if it meant he got to run around, climb up and down things, and of course his favorite thing, hurdle down an array of slides!
I was so excited to find out that we had a Landscape Structures Playground within thirty minutes of our house! The very first thing I noticed and adored, as a parent, was the shaded area!
When it comes to entertaining your child, you may think that outdoor play or playgrounds is just to expel energy and get them some activity, you are missing the biggest reasons why you should carve out time each week for this fun. Landscape Structures wants to celebrate the promise of our children’s futures as they develop skills while playing that will shape them as adults! I encourage you to check out this amazing heartwarming video courtesy of shapedbyplay.com and get inspired.
Landscape Structures do post age appropriate signage, as our local one had a play area dedicated to ages 2-5 and another for ages 5-12. However, the first thing I really took notice to (After the amazing shaded area for our park) was there was an array of adults playing with their children, a family with a wheelchair that was able to come up close thanks to their soft built ground around the structures, and kids pushing themselves to try things above their recommended age, with the help of adult supervision!
In partner with University of Minnesota’s Institute of Childhood Development research, Landscape Structures has teamed up to see how play helps develop our children in an array of ways. Let’s touch based now on six amazing ways your children are getting life skills by playing at playgrounds.
- Independence: To create a leader, you need to let your child embrace their independence. This comes when they want to show you how they can do something on their own. Asking you to take a photo or to watch them do something they want to try. You will find this often while at a playground, it could be climbing something they could not do prior or finding a new path for their personal relays.
- Persistence: If ever I knew a time that I would need persistence in life, it was not while I was out having fun playing as a child. However, looking back, the dust yourself off and try again method, works as an adult too! More often than not persistence is how we get through the hard times in life. We may get some bumps and bruises along the way, but it is a defining characteristic you surely want your children to have! Your children failing at something and getting right back up to try again, is a sure sign of persistence.
- Problem Solving: There are often times that a child will deal with problem solving on a playground. It could be how to finish climbing a rock wall, which way can they get up to their favorite slide, or how to get down, once they got up somewhere they now are not so sure of. It lets their mind figure out the problem and find a solution. Sure, we will help them along the way, but they learn from this process and it is a big skill to have as an adult.
- Social Skills: I tend to get sad at times, when my son meets a really cool friend at the park and we may never see them again. Maybe, he has better social skills than myself. Kids are so open to finding a playmate while they are at the playground. Maybe he could teach me a thing or two about making some more Mommy friends. You will often find kids just become best buddies within a few moments of finding out they enjoy doing the same things. Then again, knowing they can meet new people every visit, is a defining skill in social skills and how to get through your day with an array of people coming and going just like you do on a daily basis as an adult while having interactions while doing things or even the work environment.
- Imagination: Kids need this. They thrive on it. You can be a monkey hanging off the monkey bars. You can be climbing over rocks and platforms in hopes to not get eaten by the sharks or alligators under you. You can be a fire fighter coming down the fire house poles in a race to go save a puppy that got stuck on the slide. Imagination, your children need it to grow and as an adult, we need it to get through our creative thinking process which will help us in a work environment on how to imagine a different way to solve problems or market a product or service.
- Collaboration & Challenges: My son isn’t strong enough to do the monkey bars, but he will try! It takes the help of daddy to get the job done. He isn’t quite big enough to know how to do a rock wall, but with guidance from us, he can understand how it works and when he is stuck, we can help him off. He will challenge his daddy to race across the lagoon of gators (in his imagination) to find safety at the nearest tower (a slide) and they will escape the evil pirates as they slide as fast as they can to the safety of land. They may race and crawl under the bridges or walk hand in hand on their next journey. However, they do it with my son knowing he can work with others to have fun and he can learn to grow by overcoming challenges.
How do you let your kids grow with outdoor play? I encourage you to get your kids out to the local playground! If you want to see if you have a super cool Landscape Structures Playground near you, find a local playground.
Author: Nichole Arnold
I’m the owner of Mommy Needs a Bottle . I’m a 30- something wine enthusiast that resides in Tampa, FL. I love family traditions, traveling, cooking, baking, reading, fashion, tattoos, beauty products, and being a Mommy! I have a background in marketing, public relations, copywriting, and sales.