Outdoor play is incredibly important for young children.
When most think of outdoor play, many associate it with physical benefits as it does indeed encourage more activity and exercise. But it isn’t just the physical development that’s of benefit when it comes to playground equipment, it’s the benefits to mental development too. In fact, it has such huge benefits for children’s mental health that playground markings and playground equipment have encouraged more and more.
Here are just some of the mental health benefits children can expect to see, by using playground equipment.
There’s a huge link between physical exercise and concentration. How? It allows children to shake off what’s often referred to as afternoon tiredness. A quick session of play and even learning via playground equipment can get their blood pumping and give them that much-needed mental break. Doing this allows them to blow off the cobwebs and gives them the focus they need for the rest of the afternoon, allowing them to concentrate on what’s in front of them, as opposed to concentrating on keeping their eyes open. Research has even shown that regular sessions of exercise and physical play can improve a child’s attention span and subsequently boost their happiness during class time.
Plenty Of Vitamin D
When it comes to outdoor play, one of its main benefits, is the fact that it allows children to get their necessary dose of Vitamin D. Numerous studies show that many in the UK are sufficient in Vitamin D yet it’s a vital vitamin for maintaining and regulating multiple mental processes. By encouraging more outdoor play in playgrounds, children are not only gaining exercise but are enjoying their much-needed dose of Vitamin D. Sunshine is also known to help increase levels of serotonin which is a hugely important chemical produced by the body, helping to maintain energy levels and mood levels.
Even children in early years settings can find the structure of nursery and reception years stressful. Time spent playing on playground equipment can be a huge stress reliever, helping to reduce anxiety too. Stress relief like this can help regulate mental wellbeing, with playgrounds often being referred to as, ‘providing an important health service’.
Playgrounds aren’t just a way for children to gain focus and relieve the stresses of the day, they can also help children learn without them even realising it, helping their cognitive development. With different textures, sounds, and passages for children to try, it can allow children to explore during their time away from often restrictive classrooms.
Contact Sovereign Play
If you’d like more information on the benefits of playground equipment for children’s mental health, we recommend contacting Sovereign Play today on 01702 804200. Sovereign Play manufactures and installs playground equipment for schools, councils, and even private gardens. Their knowledge surrounding playground equipment and children is second to none.