Visit almost any playground and chances are you’ll witness children having fun as they run, climb, spin and swing. What you usually don’t see are adults being equally as active.
As an advocate for play, we encourage park and recreation professionals, school officials and community leaders to rethink the design of playgrounds with both children and adults in mind. These playgrounds are often referred to as multi-generational play spaces, where fitness stations are built near playground equipment. While children test their strength on the climbing wall, adults can improve balance and flexibility using outdoor fitness equipment.
This playground concept allows parents to lead by example and demonstrate the importance of physical activity. Research indicates when parents show their children that exercise and play are important to them, children grow to continue to play and exercise.
Equipment for various age groups also means “helicopter parents” may do less hovering. This allows children to experience risk play and challenge themselves without parents excessively worrying about their safety.
What are your thoughts on multi-generational play spaces? Do you have one in your neighborhood?