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.
If there’s anything I look forward to when the weather finally gets warm in Minnesota, it’s when we can visit our local playgrounds. Outdoor activities for kids gets pretty limited in the harsh winters up here. Minnesota winter hibernation can drive anyone crazy. It drives parents of super active kids crazy most of all.
Since Bean was an itty bitty lil thing, we have taken almost daily trips to the playground once the weather cooperates. Energy burning is just one of many things I love about playgrounds. Over the course of the last few years of Bean’s early childhood, I have picked up on a few amazing things she’s learned just from playing at the playground.
Important Life Skills for Kids Learned at the Playground
It wasn’t until the last year that Bean started to embrace making new friends at the playground. In the past, we used to spend the entire time trying to coax her into talking to the other kids her age. The new kids and energy surrounding her completely overwhelmed Bean. Now, she looks forward to engaging with other kids in imaginative games and play!
My favorite thing is to listen to Bean and her new playground friends come up with imaginative games. “Get to the tower! Quick!” or “Don’t touch the hot lava!” That’s a classic 🙂
In my opinion, nothing compares to the pride that kids feel when they finally tackle a playground challenge. Bean used to need my help to get her down the fire pole. She attempted it on her own once she got comfortable. And now, she beams with pride when she can slide down the entire thing all on her own.
There is a playground within biking distance of our new home. It has a hanging handle-grip type of monkey bars. Bean used to get so frustrated when she could only swing across 2 of them. She would fall off and start telling me how mad she was that she “just couldn’t do it!” I said, “You might not be able to do it now, but you just need to practice and then you will!” At the time, she didn’t appreciate my wisdom 😉
After a few more trips to the playground, and her telling me “Mom! Don’t cheer for me, it’s distracting!” (who is this 5 year old?!) she can now cruise down all 6 of them and land on the platform across.
It makes me sad that we now compare quality playtime with what those in the past used to refer to as “just being a kid“. Due to the modern temptations of TV and screen time, “just being a kid” is more important now than ever. Time spent at the playground not only helps kids be active, it reinforces positive personality traits such as bravery and determination.
Landscape Structures has partnered with the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Childhood Development to research how important play is in developing important qualities in a child such as leadership, problem solving, and persistence.
There happens to be a Landscape Structures playground in our new city that Bean is in LOVE with. Her favorite thing to do there (now that she has figured it out through plenty of trial and error) is to climb the giant rock and jump off it. She might be a little more brave than what makes this mama comfortable 😉
Make sure you visit shapedbyplay.com to find a Landscape Structures playground near you. You’ll be surprised by how many there are!