School playgrounds are those areas where children hone their physical activities and flourish. Good playgrounds are large enough and are designed in such a manner that children’s play and talent can come to full expression, where children at their will can make a mess, jump, run and hide, where they can cheer up and explore the details of this beautiful natural world.
A variety of important factors usually determine the quality of a school playground for the young. These include design specifications of the play area, safety related issues, playing equipment, accessibility of the playground and adult supervision, which is mandatory.
There are two significant reasons why playground activities are critical for children. Firstly, many of the important developmental tasks that young children must learn like risk – taking, exploring, gross motor – movement skill development as well as absorption of vast amount of knowledge is done on the playfield. Secondly, our new age culture is taking outdoor activities away from children in the form of excessive computer and television use. Unsafe neighbourhoods, busy schedules and tired parents are all contributing to children shying away from playing games. In this world of excessive competition, children are being forced to give too much weight to academics thus resulting in unhealthy and obese kids.
Following are the reasons showing the key role played by playgrounds for the healthy development of children.
Young children need to develop cardiovascular endurance of the body, along with motor development and movement skill acquisition. This can be achieved through physical activities in playgrounds. Extensive exercise and workout is urgent to fight off the growing problem of obesity in children.
Outdoor activities are one of the main components that characterize a satisfying and complete childhood. Thus, children must play games and fly free in their school playgrounds. These young ones must be given opportunities to experiment, manipulate, influence, explore and dream in order to create a positive outlook towards life.
Any one who has worked with children in schools knows how quickly viruses and bacteria spread in these environments. One way to control and reduce the spread of such infections is through lots of fresh and healthy air. School playground activities enable the infectious agents to spread out and easily dissipate. It also enables young children to get clean air and exercise and thus be less constrained.