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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Judging the Safety of Playground Surfacing

Judging the Safety of Playground Surfacing

Whether you’re a parent concerned about where you take your children to play or a business owner looking to build a new playground, the most important thing to consider during children’s playtime is their safety.

“The Federation of America reports that approximately 75% of all playground injuries are caused by falls, making the surface material of a playground the most important factor in making playgrounds safe”

Because the point of children’s playground equipment is to provide a thrilling experience where children can run and play in ways not easy or possible elsewhere, and because children often enjoy this equipment while running around with others, there is an increased risk of injury.

Sof’Fall Engineered wood surface is the safest solution when it comes to to playground surfacing. Playground surfaces are the most responsible area for injury.

There are several different options to consider when picking the surface material for your playground. To help make the decision of picking soft playground surfacing an easy one, read on for information about the different types of playground surfaces.

Playground Surface options

The options available for playground surfaces include everything from cement, dirt and sand to different types of rubber and wood chips. First and foremost, cement is the least safe option among these listed. Not only is cement a hard surface that can cause scrapes, cuts, bruises and broken bones, but it will crack and shift over time, becoming less safe and requiring constant maintenance.

Dirt/Sand

Dirt is a better option from a softness standpoint, as it provides a little bit of bounce upon impact, however it is very prone to wear, tear and the need for maintenance when subjected to heavy use and the different weather conditions typical of any playground. A simple rain storm can cause dirt to shift and harden upon drying, creating an uneven surface and trip hazard. Sand is similar to dirt in that it can shift and harden over time to create tripping hazards, but it can also be especially difficult to navigate for anyone with mobility challenges. 

“Sand can attract unwanted guests to the playground area, such as stray cats looking for a litter box or bugs looking for a new home.”

Rubber

Rubber surfaces come in a variety of options, though they are typically the most costly of the soft playground surfacing. While rubber surfaces can be durable and long-lasting, they may not have enough bounce in them to prevent harsh falls and can cause painful burns and scrapes similar to concrete if a child skids across them. Rubber playground surfaces can also absorb the heat from the sun, making them very hot to the touch.

Wood Chips

Wood chips, however, are among the safest options available for playground surfaces. In particular, specialty products like Sof’Fall wood chips are designed specifically for safety and use in playgrounds. The looseness of these engineered wood fiber chips prevents scrapes and burns and adds an increased level of bounce for falls up to 25’ high. Overall, Sof’Fall playground wood chips are a cost-effective and low-maintenance surface that can help drastically increase the safety of a Salt Lake City play area. When taking your child to a playground or designing one yourself, you can’t go wrong with Sof’Fall wood chips

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

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How Do Different Playground Surfaces Respond To Heat?

How Do Different Playground Surfaces Respond To Heat?

Playground surfacing is a critical item to consider on a playground, especially in the direct summer heat of the sun in Utah. Playground surfaces are typically comprised of sand, cement, asphalt, rubber, and Sof fall engineered wood chips.

Each of these playground surfacing materials react to the sun and heat in different ways. We will take a look at the effect the sun and heat has on each of the typical playground materials, to determine the best playground materials; however, before we do that, lets first look at how different substances react to the heat in general:

Specific Heat

When it comes to the temperature of a particular material in relation to heat and sunlight, specific heat must be understood. Specific heat is the heat required to raise the temperature of a substance by one degree Celsius. It takes into account the mass of the substance and the amount of temperature change in Celsius. It comes out at: X = joule/gram-degree Celsius. This is helpful when planning out your playground’s soft surfacing.

In layman terms, the higher (X) is, the more heat required to change the temperature of the substance. For instance, water has a specific heat of 4.186 joule / gram-degree Celsius, which is higher than any other substance. Sand, on the other hand, only has a specific heat of 0.19 joule / gram-degree Celsius. Therefore, it requires a lot more heat to change the temperature of water than it does to change the temperature of sand.

Accidents and injuries can happen on any playground. Our duty to our children is to take every precaution to minimize the chances of occurrence.

With that understanding, let’s dive into the effect of the heat and sun on the common playground surfaces:

Sand

As stated above, sand has a really low tolerance to heat and the sun. With a specific heat of 0.19, it requires very little heat to begin warming up the sand. If the temperature outside is 75 degrees, sand on playgrounds to reach near 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature outside reaches 90 degrees, then you are at risk of first and second degree burns on your skin.

Cement

Concrete has a slightly higher specific heat than sand, which is 0.21. Although it may take a bit longer than the sand to heat up in the sun, concrete reaches high temperatures during the summer. When the temperature reaches above 90 degrees, the concrete can reach temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not to mention, a cement flooring would make for a pretty unsafe playground surface no matter what the weather.

Asphalt

It may seem counterintuitive, but asphalt has a slightly higher specific temperature than concrete, at 0.22. However, the color of the asphalt must be considered. The black surface of asphalt will absorb the heat and hold it for longer than the other materials. Thus, the heat remains even when the sun goes down.

Rubber

Rubber has a specific heat of 0.3, giving it a higher resistance to the heat than sand, concrete, and asphalt. However, on hot summer days, even rubber can reach unbearable temperatures. Furthermore, rubber traps the heat into the immediate area, thus creating something of a humid pocket of heat.

Sof’Fall Wood  Chips

Sof Fall Wood Chips are made of wood fiber, giving it the same specific heat as wood products at roughly 0.5. Therefore, Sof’Fall Wood Chips are more resilient to the summer heat than other playground surfaces, making it among the best playground materials

 

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

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Are the Playgrounds At My Kid’s School Safe?

Are the Playgrounds At My Kid’s School Safe?

Are the Playgrounds at Your Child’s School Safe? While you are taking your children to school, you will want them to have a safe environment to play in each day. There are hundreds of playground accidents each year that lead to serious injuries, so playground safety is of paramount importance. 

“An unsafe playground can show up just about anywhere. Don’t assume that a playground is safe just because it is in a nice area, newly built, or even at your child’s school” 

However, you may not know what to look for to ensure that a playground at a school has the proper equipment and soft playground surfacing materials. Many parents never visit their child’s recess area or playground, so they have no idea what the equipment and ground look like. 

Children Use a School’s Playground Frequently

With the lack of resources that are available in many school systems, playground maintenance is on the back burner. Your children likely visit a school’s playground after or before school and during recess to have fun for a few minutes, but during this playtime, a serious injury can occur from a fall on the hard or sharp playground surface. In addition, there are other dangers from playground equipment that can lead to serious injuries. Here are the problems that occur from unsafe playground equipment.

Sof’Fall is trying very hard to get our soft playground surfacing in as many schools as possible. When the playground’s surface is hard or unsafe for children then it makes the whole playground a higher risk for injury. Sof’Fall is the safest option when it comes to playground surfacing.  

Lacerations or Puncture Wounds from Sharp Objects

Parents should examine the playground equipment for sharp edges or loose connectors that can cause lacerations or puncture wounds. Remember that children have smaller bodies, making it easier for them to go down slides or to fit through tubes that adults can’t enter, and this is where there are often problems from sharp plastic or metal pieces. If there are loose screws or broken parts on jungle gyms, swings or teeter-totters, then it is imperative to have the problems repaired.

Choking or Strangulation Dangers from Playground equipment

A child can choke or become strangled in only a few seconds from faulty playground equipment. These playground safety issues occur when there are places on playground equipment where a child’s body or head is trapped. Strangulation deaths can happen when a child’s head is stuck between parts of playground equipment or if an item of clothing wraps around a child’s face or neck. By making sure that the playground equipment is connected correctly along with having essential repairs, it is possible to avoid these injuries.

Falling Injuries onto Hard Playground Surfaces

Falling injuries onto hard surfaces below the playground equipment are the most common problems at schools. Children can fall from a swing while it is in motion, or a child may drop from the monkey bars onto the surface below the jungle gym. This can lead to a sprained ankle, broken wrist or a head concussion that requires a trip to the emergency room at the hospital. Old-fashioned playground surfacing materials may include asphalt, gravel, cement or packed soil that won’t protect a child during a fall.

Call Us for Installation of High-quality Playground Surfacing Materials

However, our company is able to install soft playground surfacing material that helps to prevent injuries during a fall, and the playground surfacing material dries quickly after it rains while remaining in great condition for many years. Materials such as small bark chips or engineered rubber are the perfect soft playground surfacing materials at local public schools that need to protect students of all ages from a variety of falling injuries

 

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

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What Makes Sof’Fall So Special

What Makes Sof’Fall So Special

You can never be too careful when it comes to the safety of children. They need to be able to run and play in order to help with their physical and social development. That is why safe playground surfacing is provided by Sof’Fall.

The Making of a new playground surface

For more than 27 years Sof’Fall has been making it safe for  playgrounds to host neighborhood children. Sof’Fall is always there it catch your kids when they fall (literally).

“Sof’Fall wood fiber to create surfacing that is soft enough to prevent major injuries when children fall, which is the cause of a reported 75% of playground accidents.

The surface of each playground is simply loose fiber pieces knitted together. This makes them durable enough to withstand the physical stress of children playing. The padding can be installed in order to cover the hard surface of a playground. The recommended padding thickness for playgrounds is either eight or 12 inches. In some cases, a top-off may be necessary in order to ensure the padding is sufficient.

Sof’Fall Engineered wood surface is the safest option for your child to play on. Cement, sand, wood, and concrete are simply not good enough when it comes to our children’s safety on playgrounds.

Every installation Sof’Fall performs is designed to change the overall safety of the country’s playgrounds. Part of the reason why the company’s product is so durable is that they issue reminders to playground owners to test the thickness of the padding.

Safety Compliance

The way in which Sof’Fall installs playground flooring means that any park using it is in compliance with the ADA. This opens these playgrounds up to any and all children that want to use them. As a result, parks are becoming more family-friendly. Children of all ages are safe when this company’s playground flooring is used.

The typical requirements for playground safety are exceeded when Sof’Fall provides safe playground surfacing. They use non-flammable and non-toxic wood to keep children safe. Children can fall from as high as 25 feet and have their fall padded by this product. No other company in the industry can make this claim. In fact, the surfacing is even IPEMA certified. In addition, its non-flammable quality is due to a lack of available space between the bottom layer of the padding and the ground under it. This prevents oxygen from seeping under the surface and starting a fire.

Product Upkeep Is Easy

City managers are increasingly turning to this product for the safety it provides. Not only does it look completely natural, but the padding is also low maintenance and cost-effective. The biggest maintenance issue with this padding is that it sometimes has to be drained if it is being used in an area that sees a heavy amount of snow or rainfall. A landscaping architect can always help playground operators determine the requirements for proper drainage.

Any playground operator that is not currently using Sof’Fall padding is missing out on a golden opportunity. It is an effective way of making playgrounds safe for every child, every time. Parents and caretakers can have the peace of mind in knowing their children are protected while they play.

 

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

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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!

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

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