The history behind 3 classic outdoor games

July 12th, 2017 by

20584624 - kids playing outdoor during sunsetMany of us grew up playing outdoor games like Hide-and-Seek, Kick the Can and Capture the Flag. Now that we are grown up, we can pass them on to our children and enjoy watching them play and learn as they run, jump and hide. We thought sharing the history behind these three beloved outdoor games would be a fun trip down memory lane. Come along!

Hide-and-Seek

According to reference.com, this game originated from a Greek game called “apodidraskinda.” It was mentioned for the first time by a second century Greek writer named Julius Pollux.The game of apodidreskinda is the earliest known example of the game of hide-and-seek and was played exactly as it is today, with one player closing their eyes and counting while the other players hide. This game was also found in an early painting discovered at Herculaneum, dating back to about the same time.

Kick the Can

Kick the Can was a very popular children’s game in the first half of the twentieth century. It is difficult to know for certain where it originated, but we do know that it became very popular in the 1930s during the Great Depression. As it did not require expensive equipment or a special field to play on, it could be played anywhere – a nearby field, someone’s backyard or even a park. A used can was usually found in the garbage and filled with rocks so that it would make noise when it was kicked.

Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag is a well known game comprised of two teams with the object being to capture the opposing team’s flag. It is believed that the game’s history began on the battle field. In battle soldiers knew that the war would be over only when the enemy’s flag was captured. The number of casualties did not determine the winning side; it was only when the opponent’s flag was secure that the war was officially over. During the Civil War, soldiers known as color guards and color bearers were appointed the duty of guarding the flag. Color guards who did their duty of protecting their own flag or successfully capturing the enemy’s flag were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Now that you’ve learned more about the history of these classic outdoor games, share the memories and head outside with those you love.

5 fun ideas for a summer walk with kids

June 29th, 2017 by

28819125 - rear view of young family walking in forestAt Play N’ Learn we believe that some of the best memories are made outdoors. Going for a walk with your child is not only a great way to create a memory, but it can also help young ones explore and learn about the world around them. We wanted to share 5 ideas that are sure to spark creativity and make a summer walk with your child more meaningful.

1. Go on a scavenger hunt. Write a list of things to hunt for and have your child cross them off as you go along. Ideas might be a list of objects, colors or even items that start with a specific letter of the alphabet.

2. The five senses. Have your child gather, write down or take a picture of an item that coordinates with each of the five senses – sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing. Talk about each one as you walk along.

3. Take pictures. Kids love to take pictures. Being able capture the world around them makes for a fun and interesting walk. Try giving them an old camera or buying them a disposable one. Print the pictures and put them in a memory book.

4. Collect items for crafting. Gather and collect unusual sticks or rocks; flowers and leaves can also make great items for craft projects. Once collected, flowers and leaves can be pressed in a book and later used for bookmarks or unique art, while sticks and rocks can serve as a great canvas for painting or drawing.

5. No distractions. Try leaving your phone at home. Sometimes it can be hard to unplug from technology, but you just might be surprised at how enjoyable it is to be hands-free and in the moment with your child. Some of the most memorable moments are made when you have free and unhindered time with your kids.

We hope that these ideas will encourage more outdoor play for you and your child and also help you create some lasting memories along the way.

Expose your kids to the great outdoors

June 14th, 2017 by

42714340_SThe temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer. Have you been spending time in the outdoors with your kids? Here are three reasons you should!

Vitamin D. Exposure to the sun’s golden rays provides vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for overall health and well-being. In addition, it provides energy and helps to strengthen our bones and teeth. To get the most out of your time in the sun, always make sure to apply SPF 30 sunscreen and above.

Time away from electronics. Modern society is filled with technology and entertainment that utilizes screens. Are you tired of the kids spending hours glued to their tablets or computers? Spending time under the sun is a great way to keep them entertained and healthy. Take a trip to the local swimming pool or spend time playing on a playground.

Encourages physical activity. The warmer temperatures might leave you feeling like it’s best to stay inside all day, but getting outdoors encourages regular physical activity. Whether you’re shooting hoops on the basketball court or playing on the swings, any kind of physical activity is better than sitting around and doing absolutely nothing.

What’s your favorite way to stay active outside? Use the coming months to partake in your favorite activities. Not only will it keep you busy while school is out, it will help benefit your overall well-being too.

Benefits of Trampolines for Adults

January 17th, 2017 by

Many think that trampolines are only for children. While many children have and actively use trampolines as a way to be active and play, research has shown that adults can benefit too. Trampolines and trampoline accessories have been shown to benefit a number of adults, especially in the physical activity department. Here are a few benefits that trampolines provide:Trampolines and Trampoline Accessories for Kids and Adults

  • It’s a form of low impact workout. Trampolining is less likely to lead to some of the joint related injuries that other higher impact workouts bring. The trampoline moves with you as you land, reducing impact.
  • Improve your balance and coordination. You get better at maintaining your balance due to trying to keep up with bouncing and the force of each bounce. This later can help prevent falls and motor coordination later in life.
  • It’s a fun workout! Working out tends to be a drag for many adults. But how fun and convenient is it to walk outside and bounce on a trampoline! You’re more likely to work out and get your children to be active if you’re having fun.

As long as you have the right trampoline for your space, trampolining is a great way to stay active and have tons of fun while doing so. Find the right trampoline and trampoline accessories for you and your family by visiting PlayNLearn.com today!

Keep Your Child Safe on Commercial Playground Equipment

January 9th, 2017 by

Going to the community playground can be lots of fun for children of all ages. They get to meet up with friends, make new ones, and explore all the park has to offer. However, commercial playground equipment can be dangerous if not used properly. Just by following a few of these simple steps, you can keep you child safe at the playground.Commercial Playground Equipment - PlayNLearn.com

  • Make sure your kids are dressed properly for the playground. Closed toed shoes, comfortable clothes that can get dirty, and no jewelry should all be part of your child’s playground wardrobe.
  • Be sure they playground your child is playing on is age appropriate. Many injuries occur because children are playing on equipment that is too advanced for them.
  • Check the commercial play equipment for any damages or pests. Also, inclement weather can cause problems as well, so know what your local weather forecast expects.
  • Simply talk to your children about the expectations of playing on the playground. By supervising and talking to them, you take the most effective step in keeping them safe.

Keeping your children safe at the local playground is easy to do and will benefit everyone in the long run. For more on playground safety and products, visit us at PlayNLearn.com.

Signs your Playground Should be Replaced

December 21st, 2016 by

Age, wear and weather often take a toll on any outdoor equipment or furniture. Before your children dash outside to spend time in the backyard, you want to make sure your residential or commercial playground equipment is safe.

When you recognize any of these signs of damage, it’s time for maintenance:

Open S-hooks on Swings – These can occur either at the top of the swing or by the seat. If these start to open, the chains can come apart and cause accidents. When the hooks by the seat open, they can also rip clothes or cause cuts.

Exposed Screws – As paint and plastic wear down over time, the barriers that protect screws from dangerously protruding can start to fade. These can catch clothes and cause scrapes.swing-1715552_1280

Visible Rust – Metal equipment wears faster than other material and can break where smaller joints or chains are in place. Rust-damaged edges can also become sharp and hazardous to play.

Missing or Broken Parts- Usually caused by extreme weight, rough-housing or other disturbances can cause parts of your playground to break and/or the structure can start to lose its integrity. Check to see if any of the handles, ladder steps, swing parts, gate posts or monkey bars are broken, loose or missing.

Damaged Wood – For playgrounds with wooden parts, it’s important to check for places where there could be splintering or cracking.  This not only can shows signs of age, but any possible insects or pests that might be damaging the equipment.

Whether you are repairing the swingset you already have, installing rubber mulch to cushion falls, or replacing all of your residential or commercial playground equipment, make sure you address these problems before someone gets hurt. Visit PlayNLearn.com for ideas and services to help make your play space safer!

 

Three Physical Developments Supported by Playground Use

December 12th, 2016 by

When children return from tumbling around the playground, their clothes are sweaty and they have a little less energy than they began with. But have you ever wondered how this time contributes to their growth? Besides basic exercise, what else is occurring to encourage physical stages of development?

Here are three developments promoted by spending the afternoon at the playground:

Coordinated movements – By actions like pumping legs back and forth to swing, children improve their ability to direct their feet and time movements. At the same time, holding on the sides of the swings to stay in place allows them to coordinate several movements at once. Game, child playing

Independent play—Free play gives children the opportunity to learn how to entertain themselves and explore the world on their own. They get to make choices between running, climbing and sliding. With self-directed play, backyard swingsets are a private world there for discovering.

Balance-Taking on gravity is another import part of enjoying backyard swingsets. As children climb and slide, they are forced to hone their balance. They learn how to stay upright, jump and lean from side to side, creating their own new repertoire of movement skills.

Give your children space to develop their physical abilities by choosing a playground that’s perfect for your family. Play N’ Learn has playgrounds that are perfect for any age and space. Learn more at PlayNLearn.com.

Games to Play with a Basketball Hoop

November 17th, 2016 by

Shooting hoops or playing a game one on one can get a little boring after a while. Having a basketball hoop in your yard gives endless possibilities to enhance your skills by playing fun games. Here are a couple games that are great for your game and playtime.goalrilla basketball hoop

HORSE This classic game is a fan favorite for a reason; it’s simple and only takes a couple people to play. If you haven’t played this game before, start by having someone stand anywhere on the court and make a shot. The second person stands in the same place and tries to make the same shot. If they make the shot, they move on to a new location and try a different shot. If they don’t make the shot, they get an “H”. For every missed shot the player makes, they get a letter. Whoever spells out “horse” first loses.

Time Trials This game is a great one person game or can be done with multiple players. All you need is a basketball and a timer. The player sets a set amount on the timer and tries to shoot as many hoops as they can in the time allotted. Once the timer goes off, they can try again or the other player can try to beat their score. This game can get a little rough for your backboard, so be sure you have a hoop, such as a Goalrilla basketball hoop, that can handle the pressure.

Around the World You need at least two players for this game. This game involves setting up at least five spots around the court to take shots from. Both players start at the same spot and take turns shooting. If you make the shot, you can move on to the next spot. Each player has two chances to make the shot. If they don’t, they get sent back to the beginning. The first player to make it to every stop, or “around the world”, wins.

There are plenty of other games out there, so just be sure to get out and start playing! For more on Goalrilla Basketball hoops, accessories, and more, visit PlayNLearn.com today.

Why Communal Playgrounds are Great for Your Kids

November 8th, 2016 by

Whether it’s a playground at school or the local park, some parents are hesitant about communal playgrounds. Playgrounds with commercial playground equipment are beneficial to children for a number of reasons. Here’s why:Commercial Playground

Age appropriate equipment assists physical development. Children who play on playgrounds made for their age group explore and learn new physical skills. Children can enhance their climbing, hand eye, and other coordination skills while playing on age appropriate equipment.

Playgrounds are great for social development. Children who play on communal playgrounds with their peers pick up on social cues and learn more about how to interact with others. Skills like sharing, collaboration, and imaginative play are all things that children learn while on the playground.

Early play enforces other lifelong benefits. Children who find that they enjoy playing on the playground may develop a habit of daily play. This keeps them active and healthy. Additionally, children can develop self-confidence when conquering new play structures. For instance, if they once found the rope bridge at the park scary, if they try it on their own and succeed, they develop the confidence to try new things and believe in their abilities.

Having your children play on commercial play equipment fosters a number of fantastic, lifelong benefits. For more information on playground equipment for your home, school, or commercial property, visit PlayNLearn.com.

 

Quick Playground Curb Appeal Fixes

October 25th, 2016 by

Do you have a playground that could use some sprucing up? Curb appeal fixes to playgrounds can be fast and easy to do! Here are some things you can do to keep your playground looking pristine.

  • Change out the mulch. Old mulch can date a playground and make it look older and worn than it really is. Consider switching to rubber mulch. Not only is getting rubber mulch easy, but it can be added to a playground or flower bed in a snap. It also has benefits such as weed control and a safer way for children to play.

Rubber Mulch

  • Add some seasonal plants. Adding plants that are in season near and or around your playground can really add appeal to an area. Gardening and planting new things is a great way to spend quality time with your family.
  • Decorate and add new things. Adding decorations or play fort accessories is another easy way to update your yard and your play space. Be sure to use items that are not going to get in the way of the children playing. Also, use decorations that are made for outdoor use.

There are plenty of other things you can do to quick fix your outdoor space, but these quick fixes are best when you want it done quick! Need playground equipment, basketball hoops, or play fort accessories for your backyard? Talk to Play N’ Learn today! They can help you find the best solution for you and your family to get outside and play.