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  • 0 Unstructured Free Play

    • Blog
    • by Green Roots Play Equipment
    • 06-12-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    Unstructured free play is critical to healthy child development, says a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report was based on the principle that “play (or some available free time in the case of older children and adolescents) is essential to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth.” This is not to say that adult-supervised or adult-driven activities such as organized sports are less significant in the health and well-being of a child, but it needs to be noted that unstructured free play is equally important. According to the report, play is important to healthy development of the brain. This is just one of the many reasons cited in the report. If we compare adult driven versus child-driven activities, it becomes much more apparent why unstructured free play is so important. Organized Sports When a child participates in an activity such as organized sports, this is adult-driven and requires that the child follows the rules as laid out by the adult. On the positive side, the child often learns the value of teamwork and fair play. On the downside, the focus is more reflective of the adult’s concern for winning or losing. This can have dramatic effects on their self-esteem. There is no question that most adult-organized activities provide health benefits from a physical standpoint; cardio, muscle development, and overall fitness, but they do not offer the same kind of benefits as free play. Why Free Play Is So Important If you have ever watched children at play on a playground, you will begin to understand the importance of unstructured free play. The child is no longer bound by the rules of organized sports but is free to take on the types of activities that are often more in line with their interests. They are free to engage socially with other children and practice their decision-making skills and exercise their imaginations. They become very creative and learn the importance of peer interaction while at the same time learning to participate in group activities at a pace that is suitable to their abilities. This is often in sharp contrast to organized activities that set goals and impose expectations that are not always attainable. Striking A Balance The intention of this article is certainly not to reduce, criticize or downplay the importance of adult-driven activities, but to point out the need for balance between the two. Both have a large role in defining a child’s future. Lessons learned on a soccer pitch are just as likely to define that child’s future as free play on a playground. Both have long lasting benefits that they will carry into adulthood. All children progress at different paces, so in order for a child to reach his or her potential without pushing them beyond their comfort zone, is always a difficult challenge for parents, especially parents that want inclusive play for children with special needs. Allowing children to develop at their own pace is something that seems to be overlooked in this fast-paced world. Parents, for the most part, are keen to fill a child’s calendar with all kinds of organized activities but too often neglect the child’s need for free time. It is a balancing act for sure, and not always easy, but knowing that it is okay to loosen up the calendar to allow for unstructured free play time is a great start. While you are at it, why not take some time for yourself and get out there and play with your children. No rules, just lots of fun and laughter. The benefits are amazing! About Green Roots Play Equipment Green Roots is not only a supplier of playground equipment, but we also offer playground assembly and installation services for private and commercial playground projects. We represent some of North America’s top playground manufacturers including Henderson, Berliner, Norwell Outdoor Fitness Equipment, and Vista Playground Furnishings. Contact Green Roots Play Equipment online or call 1-855-382-7529 to learn more about how we can help you, including finding grants for playground equipment.

  • 0 Financing Playground Equipment

    • Blog
    • by Green Roots Play Equipment
    • 06-12-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    So, your ideas for your private or commercial playground don’t match your budget and you are worried about financing playground equipment. Don’t fret, you are not alone. You would be surprised how often this comes up when talking to potential playground buyers. At the end of the day, it is up to you or your organization to determine the best possible methods for getting the structure that you feel would best meet your needs. Playground Grants BC Very few organizations have the capital to purchase a commercial playground outright. However, there are playground grants available in British Columbia. This method of financing playground equipment is quite often a very positive step in acquiring partial funding, but you should be prepared to meet some competition for that grant money. Most schools and PACs fundraise privately through any number of methods from bake sales to bottle drives and even school dances. But what about financing? How does that work?  Does it make sense? If you find that after sourcing grants and raising funds the old-fashioned way, there is still a residual amount of money required to meet the overall costs, then financing playground equipment could be a consideration. Working with a lender to help expedite your playground project with an affordable payment plan to meet your budget may be an option. Waiting to raise the money required can often result in lengthy delays and in some cases, many of the students and families partaking in the fundraising may move up to the next school before the fundraising is complete. Financing Benefits So, what are some of the other benefits to financing? First of all, you have some options. You have the option to finance any part, or all of your outdoor play equipment. Perhaps you have raised enough capital to purchase the equipment, but what about the shipping, play surfacing and assembly and installation? It may make sense to finance the remainder if it keeps your project on track. Or you can use available credit to finance other features to your playground such as benches, picnic tables, and other playground furnishings. Having credit available also helps to preserve funds for emergencies or contingency projects. Financing playground equipment may also have tax advantages for your organization. In some cases, the interest charged may be tax deductible. It may be worthwhile to speak to your accountant to see if it is advisable to amortize your playground equipment purchase as a capital investment over the life of the playground. It is important to also understand that an investment in playground equipment purchased by private organizations increases property value and provides a positive return on investment in terms of amenities. In the end, financing playground equipment really comes down to personal preference. Some prefer to wait and save, while others would like to see a quicker result. If you want to learn more about what is required for financing or about playground grants in BC, please contact Green Roots Play Equipment Inc. at 1-855-382-7529 or contact us online. We can help to get you on your way to building the playground you’ve been planning for.

  • 0 Outdoor Play and Child Development

    • Blog
    • by Green Roots Play Equipment
    • 06-12-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    It is commonly accepted that outdoor play and child development go hand in hand. Taking the time to play outdoors in your back yard, hiking through the woods, or at your local park has more benefits for your children and family than anyone can imagine. We will talk more about the importance of outdoor play in our upcoming blogs but in this initial blog we will start with how to build a strong foundation for the children through family time outdoors. Take a moment to think back about your childhood. What were the best memories you had? I guarantee they were family vacations, climbing your first tree, your daddy teaching you how to ride a bike for the first time, camping, skiing, or family cookouts. Some great memories also happen indoors but the highlighted memories are usually outside, like playing until the streetlights were turned on and your mother calling your name to come in to eat dinner. Those were great memories. We know times are different now and children are not left unattended outside like they used to be. One thing still remains the same however, family memories still need to be made. So, we encourage you, in the name of outdoor play and child development, lay down your devices and go outside with your families. Green Roots Play Equipment specializes in the assembly and installation of playground structures in British Columbia, Canada. Call us at 1-855-382-7529 to learn more.




 

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