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7 surprising benefits of taking your child to the playground
There are more benefits than just letting your kids get some energy out when taking them to the playground. - photo by Megan Shauri
We all know going to the playground is great. It helps our kids release some energy, be out of the house for a while, and break up the day. But there are other benefits you may not be aware of.

Here are 7 benefits of taking your child to the playground that may surprise you:

1. It builds a foundation for an active lifestyle

By taking your kids to the playground they are given the opportunity to run, jump, swing, climb, and be active. They are having fun, and they may not even realize that it is working their muscles and building their cardiovascular system.

If you make it a habit of going often, they will want to do physical activity, not only now, but later in life as well.

2. It helps them become more social

There are not always other kids at the playground, but most of the time there are. By letting your kids play with people they may not have met before, it helps them learn how to make friends with people they may not know.

It will encourage them to come out of their shell and play with someone besides you or their siblings. You are there watching, so you know they are okay, and they have you as a safety net if they need you. Playgrounds are a good environment for socializing with kids of all ages.

3. It teaches them to wait their turn

When you have more than one kid, they learn what taking their turn means. However, it is different when they are with kids that are not their siblings. It is no longer socially acceptable to throw a tantrum if they are told to wait in a line to use the slide.

There are other kids that know the rules that will teach your kids how things are, if they dont already know. They will quickly learn how to share, take turns, and wait.

It is not right to bully someone into waiting or not giving them a turn, but that is why you are there to supervise.

4. It gets them outside

There are a lot of benefits to being outside. You get to take in nature, smell the grass, flowers, and plants. You get to enjoy the world outside of your home, and it helps you appreciate good weather.

Teach you kids that getting wet from the rain is okay. Let them search for rainbows, and point out different animals that are native to your area. Having a love for the outdoors can help us want to protect our natural resources even more. The more we appreciate nature, the less we abuse it. Going to the park is a great way to really enjoy being outside, just dont forget to wear your sunscreen!

5. It allows them to spend time with you

You are usually not going down the slide with your child, but you are still very present in their playground experience. You can push them in the swing, watch them climb the rock wall, or help them with the teeter-totter.

Try to resist the urge to pull your phone out first thing when you arrive. Instead, watch your kids and see what they are doing. Interact with them and use this opportunity to spend time with them.

6. It limits their screen time

One great thing about being at the playground is there are no electronics. Some playgrounds have games and toys for kids that are computer operated, but for the most part, they are electronic-free. It is a great way to break up your day, get away from the TV, phone, iPad, computer, and radio. It lets your kids be physically active. They use the playground equipment for enjoyment instead of an electronic.

7. It helps them use their imaginations

Whether it is defending their pirate ship, having a tea party, or swinging in trees like monkeys, playgrounds bring out the best of imaginations. Going to the park often lets your child develop theirs even more. Encourage them to invite others into their games and sit back and watch what your child comes up with.

Playgrounds are great ways to help your child get exercise, be outside, meet new people and play. Take advantage of the playgrounds near you, and help your child benefit from all they have to offer.