Saturday, October 20, 2018

Education Through Play With Outdoor Play Sets

Decades ago, most parents could send their children outdoors and down the street to the local playground by themselves; a lifesaver for most since they could catch a few moments alone cleaning, cooking, organizing or engaging in adult conversation with their spouse or the friendly neighbors next door. Children could be heard and seen in droves near the outdoor play set, swinging on the swings, playing baseball or football or merely hanging out underneath the shade of the tree talking with friends, trading baseball cards or playing with dolls and other outdoor play sets. People had a sense of community and everyone knew everyone in the neighborhood. Unfortunately little towns and communities like the one shown on the PBS show “Arthur” either are a rarity or do not exist.

Most urban neighborhoods families are quite busy with most children in either an after school activity or extra curricular activity such as ballet, soccer or swimming with the focus of the talented child which could ultimately score points when applying to the prestigious middle or high school.  Most neighborhoods have more and more condos than sprawling backyards and as for the suburbs, the community is not as cohesive as they could be, since most keep to themselves. Finally, playing in a local playground with outdoor sets calls for one or more parent to keep watch and with parents’ busy schedules, that is not a possibility all of the time.

As communities grew in the 60’s and 70’s, outdoor play sets began popping up in backyards all over America.  Because of the boom of the suburbs, there may have not been a local playground or areas with outdoor play sets at the end of the block in the beginning and these served as great opportunities for not only the kids to congregate at each other’s houses but for also for the parents to get to know each other. For those families that perhaps had a newborn baby as well as a school age child, these were useful tools for those stay at home moms that could allow their 7 or 8 year old to go out in the backyard and play endlessly while the baby remained safely indoors.

Outdoor play sets today still serve in all of those capacities, and parents now have a wide variety of play sets to choose from, such as the ones found on  As parents are very eco-conscious about what their children play on, the best combination are the outdoor play sets that are made of wood for the sturdiness and durability as well as environmentally friendly coatings on the slides and swings.  Finally with more and more families having multiple children it can also be a wonderful means for parents to have one outdoor play set with everything for each child to enjoy.

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