Outdoor Play Area. What are the benefits?
One of the major concerns in Ireland at the moment is the rising level of obesity among our children. Children are staying indoors more often than my own generation, there are many more distractions to amuse them such as computers, computer games, smart phones and television. Children find it difficult to rouse themselves to get out of the house or the classroom to even get some fresh air, parents are then concerned when they do go out as to the dangers they could possibly face. So what do we do?
While walking in his cornfield, novice farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice that whispers, “If you build it, they will come”. That seems to be the same attitude of our local city and county councils across Ireland who are being very proactive in building playgrounds and 5-a-side football pitches for our children to enjoy. I would be inclined to start a little younger and instill a mindset in children from the age of two. I would like to see our local authorities funding outdoor play areas within our childcare facilities. Why? What are the benefits?
If you can have an outdoor play area within your creche, montessori school, pre-school and playschool where children can be allowed the opportunity to go outside once it stops raining within half an hour. Not only will this increase their energy levels but this also helps with their mental development. Too often do i hear from childcare owners that they cannot afford to update their outdoor play even though it’s in need of repair. Can you afford not to have it?
I have found that the childcare facilities who are bucking the trend and ‘making their own economy’ have the best facilities and by having the best facilities they are attract more clients. After installing our Nearlygrass artificial grass in their outdoor play area, progressive childcare facilities are holding ‘open days’ to showcase their facility and they are inviting the whole community to get involved and come down to see how wonderful their facility is. They see the benefits of having it, they see the value in having it, they see that by having an outdoor area which they are proud of will increase their revenue and the grass will be paid for 10 times over.
We have to help the children of the future develop into active and energetic human beings and lets all do our bit in combating obesity!