School playgrounds are not merely a place for students to let off steam or hang out during recess. Rather, a fun, safe playground environment stimulates students' minds and allows for their cognitive, physical, and social development. In fact, outdoor play areas provide children with rich opportunities to grow, learn, and develop.
For younger children and students with short attention spans, the school playground provides a much-needed break from sitting in the classroom, refreshing their minds for further learning.
Recent studies highlight the importance of children's play in addressing childhood obesity, while other studies show that school playgrounds allow students to:
* Improve motor skills and gain physical strength
* Improve balance and coordination
* Develop social skills
* Learn to share, communicate, and collaborate with others
* Learn to compromise and take turns
* Appreciate diversity in others
* Develop empathy
* Master new skills
* Gain independence
* Develop problem-solving skills
* Take on new challenges
* Experience success as a result of persistence and perseverance
* Expand creativity and imagination
According to studies published in the American Academy of Pediatrics and Scientific American, children without access to play are at greater risk for suffering from depression, anxiety, asthma, diabetes, and obesity. Conversely, safe outdoor play areas foster good health and emotional well-being. Furthermore, since the amount of time children spend outdoors has significantly declined in today's age of technology, providing students with an appealing and stimulating outdoor area is particularly paramount.