10 ways an engaging playground can boost children’s mental health and wellbeing
With the essential need for kids to be physically active and socialise with other children, the local playground or park can often be your choice for where to take your children during your free time. Though, not all playgrounds are inspiring or appealing enough. Our mission is to spread colour and fun with the help of engaging playground marking designs for games, sports and learning. But let’s take a look at 10 ways an engaging playground can boost children’s mental health and wellbeing:
1. It can boost imagination and creativity
Colours can be very closely linked to how we feel, 99designs suggests. They can stimulate imagination and motivate children to be more creative.
“Creativity and the world of the imagination—the beauty of what we see as a child and the kind of play that we experience as a child—can be a way for us to survive tough times.”- Diane Paulus, Broadway Theatre Director
2. Lessens stress
Like-wise, having a safe and attractive environment to play in makes children feel more at ease. And we all know how much energy some of them have. Staying inside makes it difficult to use all their energy, but engaging in a little outdoor physical activity can be a great form of release and could even help them fall asleep faster.
3. Helps development of social skills
Playgrounds are a great place to meet new friends, but often children can find themselves bored with nothing to do outside. Playground markings with colourful, fun games that require teamwork can put their boredom to an end. Group activities can also enable children to become better at communication and social interaction.
4. Encourages learning and improves cognitive skills
There is an important connection between learning and play, which should be considered when thinking about lessons and break times at school. A study on the benefits of physical activity showed that children with ADHD demonstrated a great improvement in concentration after engaging in a game.
5. Develops strategic skills and problem solving
Yes, math can be fun too! The problem with many educational systems is that they make children associate maths and other subjects with hard exams and pressure to achieve good marks. However, thinking of maths as part of a game, or an element that can help you win in a game, can make children forget that they are learning and start to enjoy the subject. Check out our Maths Target, Multiplication Grid and Maths Caterpillar – perfect for enhancing learning during playtimes.
6. Teaches children how to express themselves
“Play is the mediator of the invisible and visible.”- Dora M. Kalff, Jungian Therapist
Letting out their imagination and feelings through role play can be great for their self-esteem. With games like Today I’m Feeling and Mirror Me, children can learn how to understand emotions better and the emotions of others.
7. Getting enough physical exercise
Many experts recommend that children should spend at least three hours a day playing outside. Having different sports markings or mile-a-day tracks can be beneficial for their physical and mental health, as children need certain amounts of daylight and movement. Especially for those between the age of 7 and 12, as this is the period their physical build is being formed. If they don’t get enough physical activity then this increases the chances of obesity and physical limitations.
8. Provides entertainment for children on their own
Playing alone can form a sense of independence in a child. Playground markings such as mazes or ones for building your own trails can teach them how to create their own entertainment and could make their games much more interesting.
9. Teaches them responsibility
Having a special place to play that children like and are drawn to could make them want to keep it clean and look after it. Youngsters learn to respect and protect the environment which they can claim as their own. Simple acts like throwing their waste in the bin or cleaning the playground can be very rewarding for them. Learning to take enjoy these responsibilities will benefit them in their years to come.
10. Simply brings joy and fun
We must never forget that after all of this, they are still children and they need to enjoy their time at school. Having an engaging playground full of games and colourful markings is sure to bring excitement and fun to their day. Laughter also has its own benefits such as boosting immunity, easing anxiety and creating a positive mind-set.
Children are our future, and by taking care of their mental and physical health, and prioritising their personal development, we can make the world a better, more joyful place.