This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Before I had kids, the things I thought I would focus on most when they were really little were school, sports and activities. I thought those were important to really work on when they were little to be sure they achieved success in those areas. Now, with a 7, 5, 2 and 1 year old my feelings have changed. I still think that school and activities are important, but I believe something else is even more important: play.
The more I read about play and child development and the more I see my kids learning and growing while they play, the more I realize how play is truly the cornerstone of development for young children. I’m really proud of what my kids are achieving in school so when they are out of school I let them play. The activities and sports were getting a little “too much” so we cut out a few and spent more time playing. Play is important for the whole-child development.
Play is important to the development of children’s cognitive, emotional, and social skills. So what we regard as simply running around outside or a quick trip the playground, is so much more. Children need play to help build their sense of bravery. Free play with other children is how they develop social skills, learn to negotiate and learn teamwork.
If we’re not playing in the backyard, we walk to the playground. I love listening and watching to see what the kids come up with at the playground. As parents we see a well-designed assembly of metal and plastic pieces but kid somehow see castles, jungles and rocket ship; places that transform into their fantasy worlds.
When I think back to being a child some of my best memories are playing on playgrounds. For children, play is important in helping them become thinkers, dreamers and leaders. Play teaches them persistence, leadership, competition and bravery. They don’t need your instruction either. Just sit back, relax and watch them play. No need to hover or hand out toys.
I recently saw the wonderful video by global playground manufacturer Landscape Structures. The video celebrates the promise of our future as children play and develop skills that shape them as adults on playgrounds. It’s really neat and I highly recommend watching it. Visit shapedbyplay.com or view it below:
Landscape Structures builds awesome playgrounds for children around the country. I was curious if there were any of their playgrounds near us and when I used the locator on their site, I discovered that the playground at my children’s preschool is a Landscape Structure playground! I always ask my kids their favorite part of their school day. During preschool my girls almost always answered: the playground! Landscape Structures is partnered with University of Minnesota’s Institute of Childhood Development to research how play helps develop the whole child.
The Landscape Structures playground at their school offered them hours of important preschool playtime: time I am so thankful they had to develop important like skills. In the fall, my next little one will start preschool there and I am happy to know he’ll have a fun, special play to climb and explore.