Children learn a variety of techniques, skills, and lessons through play; in fact experts recommend that children need to play with others in order to strengthen social bonds and communicative abilities early on. With the prevalence of technology in our everyday lives, many parents rightfully fear that the screens which make our lives so entertaining may actually be posing a significant risk to the health and wellness of our children. Studies suggest that smart phones, computers, and television can fill a child’s mind with hours of non-engaging material that could turn them into couch potatoes. Here are three home installations that can help engage your child in physical recreation for health of body and mind alike.
Trampolines and Other Recreational Equipment
Easy-to-install backyard playhouses, swing sets, trampolines, and other amenities all give a child potential hours of play fun every week — provided the weather is nice! With backyard playhouses and sets, it is best to ensure that every piece is put together properly and that the set will be only used for its intended purposes. Buyers should also maintain a close eye on weight and height recommendations for the product in order to avoid potential injuries from misuse. Likewise, trampolines can be thrilling fun and potentially dangerous if not properly used. Many parents choose to install a safety net to ensure that children will remain within the confines of the trampoline area — an estimated 200,000 children are injured on trampolines every year, so it really pays to ensure that the trampoline is safe.
Swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities of the summer months with millions of Americans diving into pools across the country. Unfortunately up to 65% of Americans do not know how to swim; of these are included the startling number of Americans who believe they know how to swim, but in fact lack many of the basic principles and techniques required to swim adequately. As the number one cause of unintentional death for children under the age of five in the United States, the risk of drowning is one that cannot be overstated. By introducing your child to the pool at an early age with mandatory supervision at all times, many parents are able to give their children basic swimming skills at an early age — this could eventually save their life. When installing a new pool or improving an existing pool, ensure that added details such as safety fences are able to help keep the danger out of your backyard. Not only will a pool allow your children to develop key skills in the water, a pool installation is one of the best investments a family can make to their backyard, guaranteeing a high return-on-investment.
Home Ice Rinks
In some parts of the country where cold weather is prominent, it may make sense to have a home ice rink installed in your backyard. Most families opt to purchase an inflatable home ice rink that breaks down for easy storage. Filling the backyard ice rink liners with water to freeze over night will allow for hours of outdoor entertainment during the chilly winter months so long as adequate clothing is worn. With around 10.65 million participants over the age of six in the United States, ice skating is becoming one of the most popular recreational winter activities. Hockey is becoming more popular in the United States as well; the 2013-14 hockey season had 519,417 registered players according to USA Hockey . A home ice rink is the perfect opportunity for families to play together even in the cold of winter. If you live in an area dominated by constantly cold temperatures, consider investing in a backyard ice skating rink to keep kids on their feet and off the sofa.