6 Proven Physical Benefits of Playgrounds

Healthy Physical Activity on the PlaygroundAt Play Mart, we know that you expect more from your playground than just a safe place to play. You expect your investment to provide physical, mental, and social benefits to the children you serve. We have the same expectations for our equipment, which means that each playground is designed with this in mind. Let’s take a look at how Play Mart playground equipment can contribute to your children’s physical development.

Experts recommend 60 minutes of moderate physical activity a day for children and adults alike. Physical activity has proven benefits for the mind and body, yet for many of our youngsters, meaningful exercise is not a part of the daily routine. In fact, it is estimated that the average child spends 7.5 hours in front of a screen. Our kids spend most of their day at school, frequently sitting idly at a desk, and then come home and head straight for the couch. It is important that children make activity a natural part of their lifestyle early on so they can carry healthy habits into adulthood. How can we encourage an active lifestyle in kids? Make exercise fun! Playgrounds are a great place for your child to get much-needed physical activity and muscle development while letting loose and being a kid. Play Mart playgrounds offer a variety of entertaining equipment that can target each different muscle groups and motor skills. This results in a full-body workout that doesn’t feel like exercise at all.

Muscle Strength

1. Upper Body Strength

Playgrounds Can Help Build Upper Body StrengthUpper body strength is not just for bodybuilders at the gym—it is important for your children’s coordination and posture. Many children have poor posture due to excessive screen time which puts undue strain on the neck and spine. Developing these muscles also makes activities of daily life easier, such as pulling, lifting, and carrying. Our playgrounds incorporate ample equipment that encourage engaging the upper body, such as:

2. Lower Body Strength

The lower body is the foundation of many of our kids’ daily physical activities. Lower body strength is needed to stand, climb stairs, walk and run. Engaging in exercise that uses the legs and lower core also improves bone health and reduces the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Play Mart equipment is built for activities that develop lower body strength. For instance:

3. Core Strength

Core strength is needed to stabilize your children’s bodies and maintain balance. Core muscles include the abdomen, lower back and hips. Good posture depends on core strength, which reduces back pain, especially as your children grow older. Each of our playgrounds include opportunities to strengthen the core. Some examples are:

Motor Skills and Flexibility

While our kids develop these key muscle groups, the playground is also a place to develop motor skills.

4. Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills utilize large groups of muscles and are necessary for large movements such as walking, climbing, and jumping. Many of the activities that your children enjoy on the playground use and improve gross motor skills.

  • Climbing walls require whole-body engagement. The upper body is used to reach for the next handhold and the lower body is used to push up to the next step.
  • Overhead Ladders and Rings utilize the upper body to stay off the ground and also improve coordination and balance.
  • Slides engage the lower body in order to climb to the top of the slide and require the upper body and vestibular system to hold the head upright when going down the slide.

5. Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills involve smaller movements, typically using the hands and wrists. Because of this, many people think that developing fine motor skills is exclusively an “indoor activity”. That is false! Playgrounds can also be a great place for our children to improve fine motor skills. Many of the features included in Play Mart playgrounds involve fine motor skills, such as:

6. Flexibility and Joint Health

It is important to keep the body moving so that muscles stay flexible and joints have a wide range of motion. This not only aids in athletic ability but reduces risk of injury. When your kids spend all day seated, it results in stiff muscles that can become easily sore. This makes exercise difficult and painful. The best way to gain flexibility and increase blood flow is to use all muscles and joints regularly. The designs of Play Mart playground equipment offer plenty of opportunities to improve flexibility, whether it be climbing up the Vortex Climber (Summit) or swinging on handles (Aspen).

Physical Activity with Inclusivity and Accessibility

Playground Equipment for all Physical AbilitiesPlaying on the playground is a pillar of the childhood experience and should be available to each child regardless of physical ability. Movement, when done within a child’s ability level, is important for physical and mental well-being. At Play Mart, we want the enjoyment of the playground to be accessible to all. We offer equipment that is built with inclusivity in mind, such as the Cardinal and Eagle. These playgrounds are wheelchair accessible and offer multisensory stimuli as well as extra safety features. Children of all ability levels will be able to play safely and reap the physical and mental benefits of the playground.

If physical activity is to become a natural part of life for the children you care about, it has to be an enjoyable experience. Any adult knows that if exercise feels boring and tedious it will not be sustainable. This is why so many gym memberships get canceled a few months into the year after the “New Years Resolution” mindset wears off. Children are no different! Playgrounds are an excellent way to incentivize children to get off the couch and outside in the fresh air. While your children enjoy climbing, crawling, sliding, and swinging on the playground, their bodies will enjoy the benefits of activity. Muscles will strengthen and develop, joints will loosen, and flexibility and coordination will improve. Play Mart playgrounds are more than places of fun and amusement. They are gyms in disguise!

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Testimonials

"Play Mart Inc. is truly the company you want to do business with when looking for commercial grade playground equipment.

Lesson learned: not all playground equipment is compatible with other equipment. Our HOA had a Play Mart set that was purchased in 2005 it was needing to be refurbished. Ryan Williams contacted me right away asking what he could do to help. Records hadn’t been kept so I was having difficulty finding what we had and what we could do. After sending pictures from my phone, Ryan took over giving us the original design blueprint! A detailed report on what we had and what needed to be replaced was soon in my hands.

We were elated to learn that some of our stuff was still under warranty! Options of what could be done and what must be done to ensure the safety of our children were outstanding! We were so pleased that the nightmare of searching for playground equipment was now over! The equipment is made in the USA too.

While we wait for delivery we can’t thank Ryan Williams enough for the care he took in making sure that our playground is safe! They also offer installation if you need that! Everything ships with detailed installation instructions like a picture book! Thank You Play Mart and Ryan for all of your professional help!"

Jeanette Bowen

"I'm not sure whether the kids would have caused damage to the playset at some point, but the playground survived the hurricane. Your RSP™ is amazing."

Tim H. Gateway Services Community Development District

Ft Myers, FL

“I would just like to let you know Play Mart did a wonderful job on the packing/shipping and installation instructions. We have installed almost every manufacturer in the market and your company is the most installation friendly we have done in years.”

Playground Installation Crew

Kansas

“The contractor who assembled the set told me it was his first experience with recycled material in play sets and he was very impressed. He also told me it was very well packaged and user friendly for assembly.

It looks first class and blends in well with the wooded area surrounding our church. We like the fact we can accommodate so many kids with a set this size.”

Bruce P.

Topeka, KS

“This is cooler than big kids stuff!”

5 Year Old Child

Topeka, KS

“Congratulations on your extensive and impressive exhibit of your playground products. I was most impressed. If I were a child, I would spend a lot of time in the music section of your marvelous array of enticing things to do. But on the other hand, I could easily be enticed to the many other play opportunities for play and learning.

It is blatantly obvious that you have put a lot of careful thought into developing your engaging products for children. Congratulations and thank you for the tour of your exhibit at the trade show.”

Matthew Evans, FASLA Senior Landscape Architect & Horticulturist

US Capitol, Washington, DC

“It gives me great pleasure to be able to write a letter on behalf of Play Mart, Inc. On two different occasions in recent years, Play Mart constructed playground equipment on our school property. Play Mart representatives went out of their way to meet with the school playground committee so that we fully understand our options and the cost. We have been delighted with the equipment that Play Mart representatives recommended for our students. It is age appropriate and safe. We have had to make two minor repairs, which were quickly taken care of by the company.
In the process building the playground, we were very interested in using recycled materials. Availability of this via Play Mart was a big reason why we choose this company. Play Mart worked with us in obtaining exactly what we wanted. We were very pleased with the construction timeline and the value for the price. When we wanted to add more equipment, Play Mart was most helpful and made the changes cost effective for us. Our students spend many happy hours enjoying the playground.

We have been very happy with the entire project. It is with great satisfaction I write this letter on behalf of the company and their employees.”

Sister Laverne K., School Principal

Newark, DE

“We continue to be so pleased with our playscape! As soon as we open the door in preparation for outside play, the children head straight for the playscape. The teachers so enjoy watching the students play some of their favorite games which include: Pirate Ship (they all crowd on top of the playscape sailing off for adventure of the high seas), Shark! (similar to pirate ship but they all stand on top screaming “shark”), and Ice cream shop (sellers stand under the playscape and deliver ice cream cones to customers on the other side of the ‘counter’).
We thank you again for working so closely with us as we designed this safe and sturdy play area to fit the needs of our Nursery School. It has been one year and it still looks great, blending beautifully into our historic town green. Both our school and our community look forward to many, many more years of fun!”

Laurie H., Daycare Director

Washington, CT

“Our entire church is excited with the equipment and especially glad we saved 32,226 milk jugs from a landfill. We love the look of wood without the problems of termites and splintering.”

Joyce W.

Jacksonville, AR

“I wanted to drop you a quick note to commend you on your subcontractor’s performance…The combination of your quality equipment and the installation by Hammer Down has provided the staff, children and Marine Corp with an excellent play facility. The installation and application of the equipment has turned out superbly.  Hammer Down, Paul and his entire crew were pleasant to work with, knowledgeable of the equipment and codes and had an uncommon willingness to work well with us and other contractors. I commend them for an excellent install and terrific attitude.

As for the poured in place rubber; again a superb product paired with a great subcontractor. Clean Play, Allen and his crew provided a level of work that would be hard to surpass. The installation went smoothly and quickly. I appreciate their attention to detail and cleanliness. Though we may have stayed late, I never have an issue doing that for a contractor that works as hard and diligently as they did each and every day. There performance was outstanding and one I would look forward to seeing again.

I appreciate all of your help and you providing us with such high quality subcontractors. Thank you.”

Mike R., Superintendent

Sauer, Inc.