Scraping your knee taught you resilience. Bouncing on the trampoline taught you coordination. Playing in the sandpit taught you to use your imagination. But what did video games teach you? Pacman and Pong were fun but didn’t teach us much about life.
According to ‘The Australian State of Play Report" , published by the Milo Team, children are spending nearly half (47%) of their free time ‘plugged in’ to technology. During the week 64% of children play video games with this increasing to 72% on weekends.
The family home can be a place of constant discovery and learning for young children and has been set up to foster growth. But how do we know what’s needed to help our children grow? With statistics like these ones from Milo, how do we encourage children to return to traditional play?
Outdoor play equipment offers children the opportunity for their imagination to take off and flourish. When they’re outdoors they can play without restriction, make a mess, jump, run, hide, laugh and explore the environment around them. Children are able to benefit from outdoor play as it allows them to learn more about the world, themselves and their surrounding environment.
In this blog we take a look at the top 10 pieces of outdoor play equipment to help create a happy and healthy home for your family.
Trampolining is a low impact, low stress form of exercise with 10 minutes of jumping being the equivalent of 30 minutes of jogging. Trampolines are good for children’s joints because the mat absorbs some of the impact, which reduces the chance of strains. Furthermore, children can build on their core strength, coordination and flexibility all while having fun.
Water is such a relaxing and tactile experience for children that they will come away from swimming and splashing in water feeling happy. Whether it’s a simple paddle pool or an in ground swimming pool, children can spend hours entertaining themselves while splashing around.
Swings offer exercise, fresh air and fun and they’re a hit with both kids and adults. Swings give children time for free play after school or on weekends. They provide a great opportunity for some relaxing time on their own and will help to relieve stress and give kids the chance to process their day or feelings while swinging in the breeze.
A cubby house in the backyard is the perfect example of allowing children to have their own personal space while teaching them responsibility. Their cubby house doesn’t need to be the Taj Mahal because they will use their imagination to transform it into whatever they want. A simple roof can be a home, a spaceship, a hair salon, a school or a hospital - all in one day.
Don’t live near the beach? A sandpit is the next best thing for kids to experience the fun of sand, build sand castles and use their imagination. Sand pits go hand in hand with spades, shovels and pails to create sand castles, and adding water brings in a whole other dimension of fun and learning. Sand (and water) offers a very tactile experience which children just love.
No one can forget the feeling of whizzing full speed down a slippery slide. Time after time, kids will line up for the slippery slide whether it is in on the grass or built into a pool. Outdoor play should be all about fun and slippery slides are a great opportunity for fun in the safe environment of the backyard.
The seesaw is a great opportunity for parents to interact with their children outside of the house and enjoy the surroundings of nature. Seesaws are a great piece of outdoor play equipment to help your children learn balance while also acting as an effective communication tool. While you are on the seesaw with your child, you are offered a good time to check in and communicate with them as they need to focus on you and there are no other distractions.
Maths, spelling and reading can all be made a whole lot more fun when done outside in a healthy and happy space. Outdoor blackboards give children the opportunity to feel inspired to draw their surrounding environment and articulate their feelings through the images they draw.
The outdoor tire swing is an oldie but a goodie. It has been a backyard staple in many homes around the nation for years. Children will love spinning around in the tire swing with their friends or siblings as they reach back and look up into the sky. The tire swing has the ability to bring together children who need to work as a team in taking turns to do the pushing and helping each other get on and off the tire.
A simple ball goes a long way. Having a variety of balls on hand can lend itself to a myriad of different backyard games for the whole family to enjoy. Soccer balls, basketballs, tennis balls and footballs can be used for handball, backyard soccer, a game of touch or a simple game of catch. This can be a good time to catch up and check in with your children on their day and it keeps the healthy lines of communication open between child and parent.
A healthy and happy home provides children with the physical and emotional development needed through outdoor play, social interaction and one on one time with parents.
A healthy and happy home is also a safe home. At Springfree we pride ourselves on designing a quality, safe and reliable trampoline that will provide you with reassurance and your family with backyard fun.