A Movement Is Afoot to Bring Children Back to the Playgrounds

Kids playing on playground equipment.
Image via General Recreation Inc.

A nationwide movement is underway to get children moving again by promoting safe and stimulating play at local playgrounds, according to a July 2022 article at Voice of Play blog.

It reports that decrease in children’s physical activity can affect social, developmental, and health issues.

Researchers have found that children are three to five times more active while playing outside than when staying indoors.

Active children are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, perform better in school, make healthier choices as teenagers, become more active adults, and sidestep chronic diseases later in life.

Playgrounds can also build a sense of community, reduce social isolation, and help children and adults come together.

The idea of play in America was a response to the Industrial Revolution’s realities of big cities and long workdays.

The first playgrounds were built in the 19th century to provide poor, immigrant children living in crowded tenement neighborhoods a safe and stimulating “outdoor gymnasiums” and “sand gardens.”

Playgrounds and play movement continued to evolve, with recreational elements added for adults and sports fields and courts for children. Playgrounds took on different themes of adventure, destination, inclusive, fitness, and eco-friendliness.

Play is once again being promoted post-pandemic.

There are different ways communities can get involved. Volunteer groups can spruce up local playgrounds by power washing, painting, replacing or fixing broken pieces, and adding classic sidewalk games like hopscotch and four squares.

Communities might want to look into adding safer surfaces like rubber mulch, investing in a few pieces of new equipment, or upgrading seating for parents and caregivers.

Playscape should be as appealing as possible. The addition of slides, swings, and climbing structures are excellent foundations. These can be expanded to new section with fitness circuits, splash pads, climbing walls, and playhouses.

In with the New

Communities looking to launch a new playground face a few essentials: concept support from neighbors, a design plan, a location, and budget approved by township officials. Most essential is a funding source, whether it’s private donations and fundraisers, or government grants.

The last stage is building a new playground are the necessary permits and professional guidance and assistance, if needed.

General Recreation

General Recreation Inc. serves Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and has helped hundreds of community leaders and organizations build playgrounds that are safe, aesthetically pleasing and made to last.

General Recreation project are supported by expert and trusted services, including site evaluation, playground design, installation, and community build services.

Whether a project consists of an outdoor playground at a preschool or a large community playground, experienced commercial playground experts will help every step of the way.

Find out more about the work of General Recreation.