The Amazing Power of Free Play for Kids

This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.

"Someone has something important to tell you."

I was picking up my twins from preschool when their teacher greeted me with these words. No sooner had she said them did my son came running across the playground to me, smiling brightly, eyes shining with excitement.

"Mommy! I went down the BIG slide! All by myself!"

I could see why he was so excited. This was a big deal for my boy who had been afraid of heights for as long as I could remember. Who regularly made it halfway up any climb at the playground before turning back around. He finally made it. And in that moment, through my pride and joy at his accomplishment, I was once again struck by the power of  free play for kids.

See the amazing benefits free play can give your kids! Let them explore and read about how play can help your child with social, learning, and teamwork skills.

Choosing Free Play for Kids

I was a little overwhelmed with all the choices when it came time to pick a preschool for my boys. But two things were very important to me: I wanted a play based program and one where they would spend time on the playground every day. The school we chose fit the bill on both of these, and my boys have thrived this year.

As a mom to twins, I see every day how important it is to give my kids ample opportunities for free play. I've seen the benefits it has given my boys since they were babies, and now as a preschool room mom I get to see it on the playground with their classmates as well. Choosing to give our kids plenty of free play, especially outdoors, is one of the best things we can do for them. Through play, they are learning skills that will take them far beyond the playground as they grow and mature into successful adults. And this is the amazing power of free play for kids.

Benefits of Free Play for Kids

My boys will spend plenty of time in their lives in the classroom, and right now I want them to spend as much time as possible on the playground. Playgrounds are a place not only for play but also for learning, where children grow and build valuable social relationships. Spending time engaged in free play and at the playground has helped my boys learn:

  • Persistence. You might not make it down the big slide the first time. Or the second, or tenth. But keep trying and you will.
  • Teamwork. Give kids the chance to play and they will figure out how to work together.
  • Problem Solving. It's amazing what kids can figure out when they need to, and when they are allowed to think and work together towards a common goal.
  • Creativity & Imagination. I've seen the tower at the playground become a rocket, a pirate ship, and a princess tower (and that was just in the course of an hour). Let them play and their imaginations will soar.
  • Empathy. Supporting each other, making friends, and developing strong social skills all happens at the playground, not from a worksheet.

For a Better Tomorrow, We Play Today

Landscape Structures has teamed up with the University of Minnesota's Institute of Childhood Development to research how play helps develop the whole child through leadership, collaboration, persistence, and problem solving. Learn more with the awesome video below!

Click here to find the Landscape Structures' playground near you (perfect for all ages and abilities), then get outside and experience the power of play for yourself.

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