Child plays with toy soccer player and soccer ball on a green court.

And the Six Levels of Play Your Child Will Experience

Summer heat can put a damper on the fun – when it’s too hot to play outside, what can you do with your kids? Indoor playgrounds are a fantastic way for children to enjoy themselves when temperatures rise (or drop). But beyond the obvious opportunity for fun, indoor playgrounds offer a wide variety of benefits for children.

1. What’s So Great About the Indoors?

Aside from the obvious benefit on a sweltering Ottawa summer day of air conditioning, indoor playgrounds provide a multitude of benefits for your child. Ottawa’s Indoor playgrounds are often more interactive and creative than outdoor play structures, allowing your child’s imagination to soar as they create new games and scenarios.

Indoor playgrounds are very safe and use play equipment that is soft. These soft toys and surfaces keep children from falling or hurting themselves and are regularly inspected, cleaned, and maintained. Nets and ball pits are fun for jumping on, and parents don’t need to worry that their child may fall and get hurt.

Indoor play areas are also very secure, the likelihood of children being exposed to strangers is minimal due to the constant supervision and security monitoring. They’re also sanitized regularly to prevent germs from spreading.

The physical activity of playing in an indoor playground is also great for your child’s physical health. We all know how easy it can be on a hot day to put kids in front of the TV or computer screen to pass the time, but indoor playgrounds mean they don’t have to miss out of a day of running, jumping and playing around just because of the heat!

2. How Do Children Benefit from Play?

Indoor playgrounds encourage the use of creativity. Children benefit from play when they can use their creativity and imagination to explore new worlds and ideas. They also interact with each other, taking turns and coming up with new games and make-believe scenarios to play out.

Physical activity is necessary for children to grow up healthy and strong. Kids who participate in indoor play will have improved muscle strength, flexibility, and social skills. According to The American Heart Association, kids should be active for 60 minutes every day. Indoor play can help your child maintain a healthy weight, reduce their blood pressure and can increase their life expectancy.

3. What Does A Child Learn Through Play?

Children learn to love physical fitness through play and how to get along with others. We all know kids need exercise every day and play allows them to stay active without it feeling like a chore.

Kids play places are a good environment for kids to learn balance, coordination, and flexibility in a safe environment with little risk of injury.

Furthermore, children gain social skills through play that will serve them in adulthood. Whether playing alone or with others, kids develop problem-solving skills during play. They learn how to cooperate, communicate, deal with conflict, and share and take turns.

4. How Does A Child Learn Through Play?

Children learn about themselves, the world around them, and others through play. Playing with other children allows kids to learn to get along well with other kids, how to share, take turns and sort out conflict and how to be a leader and also follow instructions.

Indoor play structures can help significantly with developing muscles and small and large motor skills. Children also learn a great deal of confidence through play. By being able to climb to the top of a structure on their own or get a ball through a hoop, they feel pride in their abilities and want to get better at these skills.

5. How Does Play Support A Child’s Emotional Development?

Play allows children to use their imagination and creativity to build new worlds, play different roles, and create fun games for themselves and others. Play develops a child’s emotional strengths by allowing them the freedom and time to play out scenarios and try new things. When children can embrace their own creativity through play, they will develop critical thinking skills and learn to make sense of the world around them in a safe and fun environment.

6. What are the Six Levels of Play?

The best way for children to learn is through play. Indoor play structures and structures and kids playgrounds help children learn by providing them with many different opportunities to work their way through the six stages of play.

  • 1. Unoccupied Play – Play starts early, so early that play begins even before a child is born! Unoccupied play is when a child is observing others, standing still or perhaps performing random movements.
  • 2. Solitary Play – This second stage of play begins in infancy and is common among toddlers. At this stage, children learn to play alone. They may be unaware of or not noticing other children playing nearby.
  • 3. Onlooker Play – In the onlooker phase, children watch others play. It most commonly takes place while children are toddlers. Children may ask questions of other but won’t join in. The reasons for not playing along are often shyness, not knowing the rules, or being hesitant to join.
  • 4. Parallel Play – Sometimes children will play side-by-side with other children but will continue playing on their own. Children at this stage will pay attention to one another, but they’re not necessarily playing together.
  • 5. Associative Play – This stage is when kids begin to understand how to play with others. Children may become more interested in playing with others than alone with toys. Kids may start asking questions and talking more about what they’re playing with. Although during this stage there is still no formal organization between children, when playing together children will have similar goals within the group.
  • 6. Social Play – Children begin social play around ages 3 and 4. Sharing of toys (and arguing over toys) begins to happen and during role-play, children will figure out who’s playing what role and will learn how to communicate and compromise. Kids will build things together and play simple games. They are using cooperation, flexibility, taking turns and problem-solving skills.

Although it can sometimes be tough to beat the heat during the sweltering summer months, indoor playgrounds offer a comfortable environment for children to play and exercise, learning new skills that will serve them well