Today’s school-aged children are digital natives. They interact with technology almost from the moment they learn to walk and talk. As a result, kids spend less time unplugged and more of their after-school hours on screens.
Fortunately, indoor playgrounds at schools are growing in popularity as educators recognize the benefits of bringing the outdoors inside. Indeed, an indoor playground can provide natural outlets for kids that help them stay active and develop as learners.
If you’re an educator looking for inspiration on bringing indoor playgrounds to your school, check out the best indoor playgrounds by Orca Coast.
An indoor playground might seem like a frivolous expenditure for schools, but it is actually an investment in current and future students – and the adults they will one day become. Here are three reasons every school should have an indoor playground.
Physical Activity is Crucial for Kids
Physical activity has been shown to improve kids’ physical and mental health. Unfortunately, today’s kids are not getting enough of it – and the situation is only getting worse.
Indoor playgrounds can help address this growing problem by providing kids with a space for play that is both safe and natural. In addition, indoor playgrounds provide a space for kids to burn off energy and engage with their surroundings using their whole bodies.
Did you know that kids today spend an average of less than one hour outside every day? This is worrying, especially because the lack of accessible and safe outdoor spaces negatively impacts children’s physical and mental health.
Learning and Development Starts in Childhood
Because kids are digital natives, they also happen to be digital savants. In other words, kids are very prone to developing some sort of technology-related skill. You may think this skill doesn’t matter because digital skills are transferable and can be learned anywhere.
However, research shows that kids will actually be more likely to develop a digital skill if they learn it while they are still young. Why is this?
Well, kids’ brains are wired to learn in different ways than adults’ brains. Young brains are better at learning new skills but less at controlling those skills. This means that young brains are more likely to retain those skills once they start using them.
Children develop social and communication skills by interacting with their peers. An indoor playground provides a natural place for kids to interact with one another by sharing playground equipment.
Kids can also explore how to work together by building structures or creating imaginary scenes together with their peers inside the playground. You can encourage this communication by creating rules requiring kids to talk to each other while playing indoors.
A Safer Alternative
Kids crave real nature. They are curious and want to explore and experience the great outdoors, but they also need protection from the dangers of real nature.
Indoor playgrounds can provide kids with a safer alternative by shielding them from injury. These can help protect kids from biting insects by keeping the playground indoors and away from the insects’ habitat.
Playing inside also helps protect kids from inclement weather by keeping them indoors during bad weather. Finally, indoor playgrounds can help protect kids from uneven ground and possible broken bones by using soft ground surfaces indoors.
Kids want to learn about nature and experience it directly, but that’s not always possible. Many schools don’t have the financial means to create an eco-friendly outdoor playground. And even if they did, children can unintentionally harm wildlife and their habitat.
Indoor playgrounds provide a way for kids to experience nature without actually being exposed to it. However, kids can still play indoors with natural materials like sand and water.
Today’s youth spend more time indoors playing video games or browsing social media than ever before. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this problem: indoor playgrounds in schools.