For a Better Tomorrow, We Play Today

For a Better Tomorrow, We Play Today

Leverage research and resources to broaden your school’s commitment to childhood play.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Find our more information on the Shaped by Play Scholarship.
Communicator
May 2017, Volume, Issue 9

Play has an invaluable role in encouraging whole-child development. Playgrounds are a microcosm of adult-life where roles are defined and rules are adhered to or broken. But above and beyond learning life lesson—such as trial and error, sharing and competing—it’s on the playground that children learn persistence, leadership, competition, bravery, support, and empathy. It’s these experiences that help shape kids into thinkers, dreamers and leaders.

There are only a few things in most kids’ lives that are universal learning opportunities, and play, which could take place in a back alley or at a playground, is one of them. Landscape Structures Inc., a Delano, Minnesota-based commercial playground equipment manufacturer, understands this powerful reality. Play is fun, and physically beneficial, of course. But play is also an organic form of learning.

In the eyes of a child, playgrounds are more than just a well-designed assembly of metal and plastic pieces. Their imaginations transform playgrounds into countless fantasy worlds. Children turn into kings and queens holding court in their castles, into inquisitive jungle adventurers, and more. Looking back on our own childhoods, we can appreciate the effect playground experiences had on who we ultimately became. In other words, play shapes us.

For years, the campaign for more play has revolved around battling the childhood obesity epidemic. However, play is important for more than just physical development. Play helps shape children’s cognitive, motor, and social skills, in addition to the following:

  1. Supports leadership development;
  2. Teaches tolerance through inclusive play;
  3. Spurs growth in creativity;
  4. Promotes problem-solving and diligence; and
  5. Regulates emotions and brings control to behaviors.

Shaped by Play Research

What is play? Virtually any adult can come up with a list of examples of play—rowdy games of tag, make-believe stories about castles and dragons. However, putting together a formal definition of playful behavior proves to be more complex. That’s why Landscape Structures has partnered with the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Childhood Development. The team has researched how play helps develop the whole child by creating leaders, encouraging collaboration, and teaching about the values of persistence and problem-solving. Sign up to be notified when the research summary and supporting documents are available.

Shaped by Play Scholarship

Play shapes us. It builds leaders, encourages collaboration, teaches persistence, develops problem-solving skills, and much more. To illustrate its commitment to play, Landscape Structures created the Shaped by Play Scholarship. The scholarship, which is launching in June 2017, is open to all school-aged kids. It can be used to fund soccer clinics, summer camps, art classes … any activities that help build the leaders of tomorrow. Sign up to be notified when the Shaped by Play Scholarship is open for applications.

At Landscape Structures, we believe that childhood play instills important values into kids, and helps create the leaders of tomorrow. That’s why we create the best playgrounds in the world. Watch our video that brings the WHY of what we do to life. For a better tomorrow, we play today.

Photos Courtesy of Landscape Structures

Copyright © 2017. National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP’s reprint policy.

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