Child Development and Play

The development factor

Play and growth are intertwined. Play is one of seven emotional systems of the human brain and on par with other human emotional instincts such as happiness, fear or love. Children’s physical, social-emotional, cognitive and creative development is not only supported by play, it is developed through play. There is evidence that play, apart from being great fun, is fundamental for all areas of child development. The KOMPAN Play Institute constantly searches for new playful ways to build play value in playgrounds and to support child development through play. Playground play and child development have roots in physical play, in fun rough-and-tumble play. But play motivation and great playgrounds also build on pretend play, dramatic play, explorative sand water play and many more. Different age groups have specific play preferences and needs. The KOMPAN Play Institute recognizes age-appropriateness in the design of individual equipment and its placement.

Outdoor play, the key to more physical activity in kindergartens

This study shows that the children in a preschool where they spend most of their time outdoors in a well-planned activity area have a 35% higher level of physical activity than the children in the other preschools in the study.

The World Health Organization recommends that all children and adolescents should participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity for a least 60 minutes a day. This study set out to examine the level of physical activity among the 3 to 6-year-olds during their time spent at preschool.

In order to positively influence and improve the physical activity level of preschoolers, free outdoor play in well-planned play areas is key.

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Video: How play helps to develop children

Child development and play

Energy expenditure on a KOMPAN school age playground

The KOMPAN Play Institute’s research shows that children burn two thirds of the recommended 150 calories during 30 minutes of free playground play

The Surgeon Generals Report on Physical Activity and Health Report suggest that everybody should burn 150 calories of energy per day in order to maintain a healthy body composition of bone, muscle, and fatty tissue. This energy balance is off for many children.

For this reason, KOMPAN Play Institute and the University of Southern Denmark set out to research how many calories school aged children burn when they engage in 30 minutes of free play on KOMPAN play equipment. This study shows that 3rd grade children burn more than 150 calories through 30 minutes playground play.

Play value - The influence of playground equipment

Research from the KOMPAN Play Institute shows that playground equipment influences preschooler’s development positively

It is important developmental domains such as social, cognitive and language development are not the usual center of attention in playground research. So the KOMPAN Play Institute set out to investigate to which extent play structures with a wide variety of activity panels influence these important development domains.

Play panels provide extra play value and can be used to advance the development of children’s social-emotional and cognitive development. Read the findings of the KOMPAN Play Institute to know more about what kind of playground equipment educators and park planners should invest in for their particular user groups, and why.

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