Child development refers to a sequence of psychological, biological and emotional changes that occur between birth and the onset of adolescence.
Throughout this period, children can progress from being solely dependent on their parents, increasing their autonomy through learning.
It is a continuous process that has predictable milestones used widely in school curriculums, but every individual's journey is completely unique.
What happens during the early years of a child’s life is crucial to their development.
It is during that period that the basis of their intelligence, personality, social behaviours and capacity for learning all forms.
Playground equipment can provide numerous benefits to childhood development by promoting fitness, improving a range of skills and encouraging both a healthy mind and attitude.
Here we explore some of the key benefits of playground equipment for a child's development:
According to studies carried out by Sport England in recent years, one in three children in England does less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day - half the amount recommended by government guidelines.
As a consequence, schools are actively being encouraged to promote outdoor activities that are inclusive of all children.
They are inherently active, and need time outside to increase their fitness while building positive associations.
Every year, children are becoming less and less active, particularly girls, which is why encouraging a healthy lifestyle has never been more important.
Outdoor playground equipment is an ideal way to help them engage in a physical activity that is distinct from traditional sports.
Equipment such as arm and pedal bikes, air walkers, climbing structures and adventure trails can pique the interest of every boy and girl.
Playground equipment is fun, innovative and helps to engage their entire body while developing a whole host of coordination, special awareness and balance skills.
Playground equipment is great at teaching children a whole range of skills.
For example, playing on climbing structures helps them to build fine and gross motor skills, coordination and balance.
As they move across and climb the structure, they will be able to develop spatial awareness and learn to judge where the equipment is in relation to their bodies.
Equally, playground equipment that allows children to swing or move back and forth can boost development in several ways.
It nurtures balance, but having to grip onto the equipment can also aid in practicing fine motor skills. Moving the legs in tandem also assists with gross motor skills.
When combined, children will learn how to effectively coordinate their body to move as they want it to while simultaneously appreciating the parts played speed and direction.
Each piece of equipment offers unique benefits that children can develop while having fun and socialising.
According to a recent study by NHS Digital, one in nine children aged between five and 15 have a mental health disorder.
The total rises every year, highlighting the importance of intervening early to prevent the development of problems later.
There is much to be done to improve the mental health of children, and it is up to schools to make sure they are doing their bit.
As we have moved towards a more digital society, children are spending less time outside during lunch or break times and instead would rather sit inside while using a device.
However, playground equipment offers a unique opportunity to engage children in play and make them genuinely want to be in the fresh air.
The mental health benefits of doing so have perhaps been overlooked but the facts are: children need sufficient fresh air and sunshine.
Mental illness cannot be treated by sitting out in the sun, but the physiology of sunlight promoting the release of serotonin cannot be ignored, and is beneficial in supporting brain development in children.
At Playground Imagineering, we offer a vast range of playground equipment that is ideal for encouraging physical activity in all age ranges.
We have years of experience providing safe and fun equipment that is inspired by the needs of the children that use them.