How Playing Outside Can Help Your Kid Do Better In School

How Playing Outside Can Help Your Kid Do Better In School

“Brain breaks” are the best things that a person can have when they are studying. This is especially true for children. If you coop a child up in a classroom for a whole day without giving them “brain breaks,” they may not process information as well as they should.

“Some people mistakenly think that you “have to” lock yourself in a room for 6 or 8 hours to rigorously study. However, doing so without breaks may result in slowed focus and diminishing returns.”

If we force children to study and be in school without having outside play breaks, they might sustain damage to their psyches that affects their academic performances. Outside play helps to combat issues such as depression and anxiety, while being cooped up in a classroom without any breaks might exacerbate those issues. In fact, playing outside can help increase children’s creativity and ability to learn.

Sof’Fall works hard to make sure that your children have a safe place to play. Playground safety is important because getting outside and playing is so important for our children’s learning. 

Playing Outside can help you learn 

You can also look at things from the angle that the human body is built to be physically active. Generally, not getting enough exercise and fresh air can hurt a person’s mind and body. A child who is not active may show symptoms that are akin to ADD or ADHD.

Outside play is also important because of the fact that it allows a certain level of creativity that cannot completely flourish in the classroom. This is because things are generally less structured when children play outside. They are able to talk and run around as much as they want without someone telling them to be quiet. Creativity is also boosted by the element of the outdoors—something that feels completely different when compared to highly structured, indoor settings.

Finding A Good Place To Play

A safe playground made with soft playground material can further boost the stimulation that children receive from outside play. Playing in a safe playground helps to enhance children’s imaginations. Safe playground equipment includes different variations of swings, monkey bars and slides. Many playgrounds are covered with soft playground material that children can fall on without getting hurt.

When playing outside, children are exposed to nature and the outdoors. The things that they are exposed to in the natural world gives them more knowledge that they can draw from when they are studying.

There are various studies that have shown the benefits of children playing outside and getting physical exercise. One study in 2014 showed that children who are more physically fit have more white matter than children who are not.

“The more stimulation and variation children’s brains get, the better!”

Going between sitting down in a classroom and running around outside is a great way for children to receive the correct amounts of brain stimulation to properly develop. Also, many experts out there say that people are wired to enjoy being outdoors. So, putting this element into children’s lives each and every day is surely beneficial to their overall well-being.

In a child’s spare time away from school, playing outside is also very important. Outside of school, a child has more time to be free and to be with a wider variety of people. Being outside of school has its own dynamic to it that is different from being in school. So, playing in nature outside of school feels different and is stimulating in its own way.

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How Long Should Children Play Outside In Utah?

How Long Should Children Play Outside In Utah?

While many parents are becoming more and more wary of the outdoor world, experts are saying that this is leading children to have developmental problems. In Salt Lake City and around the world the number of children spending hours with their bodies glued to their chairs and their eyes to their screen is growing, and this is not something positive.

Together with the spread of the internet has come to a slew of problems. Many pediatricians today are seeing more cases of children falling off their chairs, now not being able to hold pencils, and not being able to process emotions properly.

Those are all issues, they are saying, that might have been averted via allowing our youngsters extra time to be playing outdoors daily.

It is recommended that toddlers ages one to four should be outside and exercising for at least three hours a day. However, recess is seemingly being shortened all over the states, further lessening the exposure that children get to the outdoors. While this might be being replaced by class time, not everyone agrees that this should be happening. In a collaborative study conducted by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology‘s experts and the obesity specialists at Ottawa’s Children’s Hospital, they have shown that while the majority of time that kids spend is on screens right now, to ensure developmental success, parents need to start stressing the importance of playing outside to their children.

Sof’Fall Engineered wood surface is one of the top rated playground flooring materials. Having Sof’Fall wood chips can transform a dangerous playground into a place your child can play and imagine in safety. One of the biggest steps to helping kids get outside more is helping parents know that the spaces their kids are playing in will catch them when they fall.

GETTING KIDS TO PLAY OUTSIDE

This conversation is no longer happening in the volumes that it needs to, and this is causing children to avoid playing outside. It is suggested that parents immediately change the way they are permitting their children to spend their time if they would like to make sure they have the best chance at health in the future. One of the ways that many parents restrict their child’s development is by keeping them strapped down for too long. Many parents allow their babies to sit in a car seat, bed, or other stationary bed for too long. It is recommended that your baby should be having at least thirty minutes of “tummy time” if they cannot yet crawl.

WHAT ABOUT FOR OLDER CHILDREN?

For older children, you may find they enjoy time on a playground. However, not every parent has the opportunity to take their child to Salt Lake City playgrounds every day. This means that you may want to invest in playgrounds for your children. This way, they could have a hand in deciding which design of the playgrounds they may enjoy. Make sure, though, that you purchase one with enough activities to keep your children interested for a longer period. After your child picks one out, you also need to consider the location of the play place. Even if you may have an area that is covered in grass, if you have a younger child, covering the ground in mulch may ease some of your worries if they were to jump down. 

Children need to learn to climb, be active, and how to steady themselves, but many parents are too worried about them hurting themselves. Having a soft playground material to play on can help ease the parents fear and the child’s fall.

Finding ways to get outside

While the world is getting more online, and more threatening, parents are hurting their children by shutting them away. When they are allowed to explore their interests unburdened, however, they prosper. Making sure that your children are safe should be your priority, so while they need to be climbing and breathing fresh air, make sure they are safer by providing a comfortable place to land.

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Fun And Safe Playground Games For Your Kids

Fun And Safe Playground Games For Your Kids

Exercise is extremely important for keeping kids happy and healthy. Exercise helps strengthen bones, keep hearts pumping strong and can improve your child’s self-esteem. One of the best ways to encourage your child to exercise is to head to a nearby playground and get in on the fun. These five playground games are perfect for the entire family.

“All of these games have their different variations and go by different names but the important is that they are fun! More important than that, is they’re also safe.”

Even if you have a playground or park close to your home you may get there and wonder how you are going to entertain your kids. If kids don’t have fun while outdoors, they aren’t going to want to spend time there. We hope that our ideas can help you have fun with your kids and even help come up with new games to play as well. 

When kids get suffiecient time outdoors to play, create, and exersise it benefits nearly every department of their physical and nuerological development in a positive manner. 

Horse (or any other word you want to Spell)

To play horse, all you need is a basketball, one of the many playgrounds in Utah with a basketball court and your family. Each player takes a shot from wherever on the court they would like. If they make it, the next person in line must take a shot from the same spot. If they make it, the play goes on to the next player; if they miss, they get a letter “H.” Play continues until someone spells “Horse.” This same pattern can be followed for any word and like all games contains its own variations in rules. 

Doggy, Doggy, Where’s your bone?

An object, such as a stick, shoe, or even a plastic dog bone, is all that is needed to play this game. To begin, one person is chosen as “it.” This player places the object on the ground and turns around. One of the other players takes the object and hides it behind his or her back. The player that is “it” must then turn around and guess who took the object. If he or she guesses correctly, the “it” player must try to tag the person who stole the object. The running and trying not to get tagged is great exercise for your kid.

Treasure Hunt

This game takes a little bit of planning, but seeing your children work together to figure out the clues will be worth the work. To play, find several age-appropriate objects to hide, paper bags for the objects and papers with clues written on them to help the children find the missing objects. Hide the bags and give out the clues. It’s important that the playground has a soft surface for this game as children will get excited and begin running. Playground safety helps ensure everyone has a fun time until the treasure is found at last.

Monkey in the middle

Grab a soft playground ball and find an open area to play this game. To begin, have all of the players stand in a circle. Choose one person to be the “monkey.” The monkey stands in the middle of the circle and attempts to get the ball as the other players roll it on the ground or toss it above his or her head. Once the “monkey” gets the ball, he or she trades places with the last one to throw it. Kids all over Salt Lake City love this game because of fun and ever changing aspect of the game.

Obstacle courses 

A little competition makes playground games fun for young and old alike. Set up an obstacle course, which may include running and touching a tree, sliding down a slide or climbing stairs. Set a timer and allow the family to compete against each other to determine who can beat the course fastest.

No matter which game you choose, remember to wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water and a healthy snack. There are many playgrounds in Utah to choose from for your day of play, however, it’s also important to pay attention to the playground that you choose. Playgrounds should have soft surfacing to help protect your child should they fall. It’s also a good idea to check over the structure for any loose bolts or sharp edges to ensure playground safety before playing as a family.

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How Going To Playgrounds Can Increase Your Child’s Creativity

How Going To Playgrounds Can Increase Your Child’s Creativity

While playground safety is of utmost importance to many Salt Lake City parents, scientists have proven that risky outdoor play boosts children’s creativity. Thanks to soft playground surfacing, kids can develop their creativity to the fullest, and parents in Salt Lake City don’t have to worry about playground safety while their little ones jump, climb, swing, and run.

“Studies have shown that children who use playground equipment for five to ten hours each week are more creative than those who don’t.”

Thanks to soft playground surfacing, you can relax while your child plays with their friends on the monkey bars. Scientists also found that children who take more risks while playing outside stay outdoors longer than children who play more safely. The risk-taking children were found to be more resilient and more curious than their counterparts. These results were found constantly through out the studies. 

Sof’Fall is committed to helping children have safe places to play. Soft playground surfacing is the first step to that goal.

It’s no secret that running and jumping is great for your child’s physical health; playing outdoors can also help your kids develop social skills. Rougher play among children may seem dangerous, but studies find that there are benefits to letting your kids get down and dirty; a few scrapes may help children become tougher and improve their improvisation and perseverance skills.

Developing Creativity in Children

The author of this study, Mariana Brussoni, says that it’s important to support children’s outdoor play because it can drastically improve their mental and physical well-being. The study elaborates on which playground features garner the best results; natural features like trees and flowers aid in boosting creativity and curiosity in children. When choosing a playground, changes in elevation and things for children to climb on are useful.

The researchers found that children who were over-supervised during playtime didn’t take as many risks.Concerns over playground safety standards often prevent caretakers and parents from letting children explore as freely as they’d like. Soft playground surfacing can make playgrounds safer and allow children to take more creativity-boosting risks. 

Mariana Brussoni recommends a solution to over-supervision. She urges guardians to establish rules with their children, especially older ones, rather than actively supervising their playtime. Building safer playgrounds that balance safety and positive risk-taking will ensure that children reap the health benefits of outdoor free play.

Outdoor play is essential to children’s mental and emotional development. Outdoor play that involves risk-taking and rougher play can build resilience and peak children’s curiosity, and providing safe playgrounds with the necessary safety features allows children to grow without sustaining serious injuries.

Safety is always going to be the top priority for parents and guardians, but creative development should be the second. Providing children with safe outdoor venues to explore is critical for creating a generation of intelligent leaders who can create, innovate, and overcome obstacles. Proper playground surfacing creates the perfect balance between safety and risk.

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Why Parks Are An Important Part Of Your Child’s Health

Why Parks Are An Important Part Of Your Child’s Health

Summer is here! For most of us with kids, that strikes a little fear in the heart of every parent—what do we fill our children’s time up NOW? Idle time for children is not necessarily good for them; finding ways to incorporate play and physical activity throughout a sunny summer day will help you all make the best of your time together.

“Studies have shown that even a simple 45-minute trip to the park every week can have lasting effects on a child”s development, mood, learning abilities and more. ” 

We believe it is very important to get our kids outside. Here are some solid reasons why you need to take advantage of the wonderful weather and start exploring local parks in your area:

Providing a safe place for our children to play is one of our top priorities at Sof’Fall. 

Playing at the park stimulates gross motor skills development

Nearly every piece of playground equipment is beneficial to the development of gross motor skills in children. Spinning and swinging activities aid in the development of vestibular movement, while other playground equipment promotes balance and a sense of spatial development that they will need as they mature. Thanks to more rigorous standards of park safety, new playground equipment is easier and safer to use than ever before. It is still recommended, however, that parents keep a watchful eye on children when engaged in play.

Outdoor Activity increases the academic ability to learn

Believe it or not, playgrounds improve your child’s academic performance in school! Strengthening core muscles, arm and finger strength, and other postural muscles helps children to maintain proper posture when completing schoolwork. In addition, proper development of the vestibular system helps a child to maintain attention, focus, and to support emotional regulation needed for navigating a school environment. These early experiences of touch, movement, and visual stimulation all work in tandem to set your child up for academic success.

Physical Recreation Increases Primary Mental Fortitude

A strong body and a strong mind are interconnected; they fuel and drive each other to improve. Kids who play on playground equipment improve all aspects of physical fitness including core strength, arm and leg strength and even grip strength. Most renovated parks now offer an improved soft playground surface so that children can play on structures with less anxiety and fear of falling. Establishing physical activity as part of a well rounded childhood improves mental health by stimulating the release of endorphins, those feel good hormones associated with mental balance and good mental health. It is obvious with benefits like that that exercise is good for our children.

Playgrounds connect kids to the outdoors

Encouraging outdoor play helps connects kids to nature and fosters a love for the outdoors. It’s good for kids to get dirty! Discovering plants, bugs, and all intricacies that nature brings opens up a whole new world of scientific discovery that fosters creativity and curiosity. The next time your kid comes in from the park covered in mud and other unmentionables, celebrate the learning that they just engaged in, and help to continue to develop a love of learning.

PLAYGROUNDS CONNECT KIDS TO THE OUTDOORS

Salt Lake City is a veritable treasure trove of picnic areas, parks, and recreational areas that promise fun for the whole family; kids can play, parents can lounge and picnic, and you can create memories that last well into the winter months. Contact your local Salt Lake City chamber of commerce to find out what wonderful outdoor resources await you and your children. Have a great time this summer!

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Benefits of Exercise on the Brain

Benefits of Exercise on the Brain

No one will argue that exercise is good for you. Exercise improves cardiovascular health, helps control weight and blood pressure, and helps us have more energy. More and more evidence is mounting that regular exercise improves mental and physical skills.

…something as simple as kids having a chance to play on playground equipment before school starts in the morning may affect their behavior and concentration in school.

For school-age children, outdoor exercise has even more benefits. Taking your kids to play at the park, going on a walk, or playing sports may help your child to have a healthy body. More and more studies are finding a link between healthy bodies and better performance in school. Scientific studies are proving what every parent suspects—that strong bodies equal strong minds. Exercise is essential for success at school. So, your time on the school playground equipment was actually helping. But schools can’t make exercise breaks optional anymore because of all the potential benefits.

EXERCISE AND LEARNING: Scientific studies show what most parents already know, strong bodies equal strong minds.

Benefits of exercise

Increased academic performance. A study cited in the Journal of Pediatrics found that a positive relationship exists between academic performance and motor skills and aerobic exercise. What that means is that if kids have recess at school and have the chance to run around, play sports, and/or climb on playground equipment, they will not only be strengthening their physical bodies but will be helped academically as well.

Increased focus and concentration for every student, but having a greater impact on students with ADHD symptoms. The Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology reports that a 2014 study conducted by researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Vermont found that offering before-school programs based on aerobic exercise decreased ADHD symptoms at school and at home. This means that something as simple as kids having a chance to play on playground equipment before school starts in the morning may affect their behavior and concentration in school.

Increased cognition or the ability to learn. Studies have shown that exercise can slow or even reverse cognitive decline in older people with dementia. For school-age children, studies reported by the UK’s Centre for Educational Neuroscience have shown that aerobic exercise can increase the plasticity of the brain and can affect learning in a number of different ways: “perceptual skills, intelligence quotient, verbal tests, mathematic tests, memory, developmental level, and academic readiness in all ages from 4-18 years.” Exercise is essential to being “smart” at school.

Increased positive behavior at home and at school. In a study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University, reported in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, an increase in exercise during the school day had positive behavioral effects in the classroom and at home. The far-reaching effects of something so simple are astounding. Exercise not only affects kids at school but can have positive effects for hours afterward.

The bottom line is that exercise can’t be considered something extra, like a reward for children for good behavior or for finishing homework. It is essential to their learning, behavior, and brain health. Exercise needs to be part of every school day and every day at home. Every school and pre-school should have a playground for kids to play on, with the proper safety measures in place, of course. Playgrounds are the perfect way for exercise to be playful and spontaneous and fun.

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