Tags » ‘Outdoor Activity’

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.

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.


Make Kids Even More Active with the Right Swingset Accessories

September 13th, 2016 by

swingset accessoriesYour backyard swingset is the perfect area for kids to get plenty of exercise. Running around with friends, swinging, and sliding are all great activities to keep your kids moving outside instead of sitting inside in front of television and mobile device screens. If you want more ways to keep your kids active, you should consider adding swingset accessories to your swingset. There are plenty of great options to inspire more active play amongst your children. Here are a few that make great additions to any swingset.

  • Trapeze Bar with Rings – Do you have monkey bars already installed on your swingset? If you do, your kids will absolutely love the addition of a trapeze bar to the swingset. Perfect for those little acrobats in your family, the trapeze bar will help train balance and strength while also being extremely fun to play on!
  • Rope or Rock Wall – If your kids love climbing, then they will have a ton of fun climbing a rope or custom rock wall. These options are incredibly physical, getting all of the essential muscles working at once. It is a good idea to plan for one before purchasing a swingset, as there are many swingset options with rope and rock wall features already installed.
  • Triple Shot Game – The Triple Shot Game is perfect for basketball fans or anyone up for an action-filled challenge. Fun for all ages, it makes a great addition to any swingset and definitely promotes an active lifestyle.

The trapeze bar, rope, rock wall, and Triple Shot Game, are only a few of the swingset accessories Play N’ Learn’s Playground Superstores has to offer. DC, Maryland and Virginia residents are encouraged to come to our Columbia, MD or Chantilly, VA store locations to check out our swingsets and accessories, but you can shop online today at PlayNLearn.com.

Simple Tips for Decorating Your Playset for the Holidays

December 3rd, 2015 by

Simple Tips for Decorating Your Playset for the HolidaysNow that Thanksgiving is over and December has arrived, it’s officially time to move on to the end-of-year holidays. That means celebratory decorations will be popping up all around the neighborhood, from wreaths on the doors to that one neighbor whose light show takes up 50 percent of the power grid (you know who you are). You probably have some tried and true decoration plans for your house, but have you ever thought about incorporating your swingset into the decoration scheme? While you decorate the house, your kids can take ownership of decorating the swingset. Here are some fun, simple ideas for how to get started and get the kids into the holiday spirit.

String lights around support beams
Your swingset is a perfect place to string lights; it’s easy to wrap lighted garlands around and when the whole thing is lit up, it’ll be transformed with holiday cheer, enticing kids to get out there and play. Try using icicle lights to run across horizontal beams, or wrap lights around each leg. While you work on the house and front yard, your kids can design the perfect plan for making your swingset the main attraction, from what color lights to use to the size and where they’ll put them.

Hang ribbons around the top of the fort
Your kids can add another layer of festiveness to the swingset by adorning it with the big, shiny ribbons that always appear during the holidays. A few ribbons on the upper level in the fort add a nice touch and make the whole structure look like a big present — and you’ll be able to appreciate them any time of day, not just in the evening when the lights are on.

Hang a wreath above the slide
Create a focal point for your holiday decorations by hanging a wreath above the slide. It can be small or large depending on whether your kids will still be sliding during this time of year. If your kids are still playing on your swingset throughout the winter, remember to make sure you’ve done a winter safety check as the weather shifts and keep lights and other decorations out of their way.

Hang birdseed pinecones
Let’s not forget to bring some holiday cheer to the animals that might hang out in your back yard alongside the kids. While you’re decorating, why not give the birds and squirrels an early present by making some birdseed pinecones? Using pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed, your kids can make homemade feeders to string up on the swingset. If your kids still play a lot on their swingset during the winter, have them string them up in a less trafficked area of the set; otherwise, they can use the main support beams to hold the special treats.

Once all the decorations are done, celebrate with some hot chocolate in the fort with friends! You’ll be making good use of your swingset even when it’s too cold to enjoy it for playing. Thinking about adding a playset to your backyard? Come visit a Play N’ Learn showroom where we can walk you through all the options for how to ensure amazing play throughout the seasons.

Get Techy Kids Outside with Geocaching

November 5th, 2015 by

Get Techy Kids Outside with GeocachingNow that the weather is getting colder, it’s even harder than usual to get your kids outside — especially those who are always glued to some sort of glowing screen. But what if your kids discovered that there are secret stashes all around your community that they could only find by going outdoors and using a smartphone? That’s exactly the concept behind geocaching: using GPS coordinates posted on a website to find hidden treasures left by others. With geocaching, you can join technology with the outdoors as your kids track hidden “caches” in the parks and natural areas in your community. They won’t even realize they’ve been outside for an hour once they’re done looking.

As of 2013, there were two million geocaches worldwide, and the number keeps growing, which means the odds are good that there are some in your town. And you’d never know they were there if you weren’t looking for them. All you need to do is make a free geocaching account (https://www.geocaching.com/play), and then using your phone or GPS, pick a geocache near you and navigate to it. It’s a high-tech version of a treasure map.

Geocaches come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and difficulties. You may spot one right away when you get close, or you may have to look under rocks or in a hole in a tree. Part of the fun is narrowing down where the geocache is supposed to be and then searching to find where it’s hidden. Once you find it, you can sign the log book. Many geocaches have little trinkets inside, including where else the geocache has been in the world — sometimes individual geocaches have made treks of hundreds or even thousands of miles! Your son or daughter can add his or her name, or bring a knick-knack to leave behind or trade.

A lot of geocaches can be found at local parks or hiking trails, making it a fun way to mix in getting your daily exercise. Your kids can hold the phone to hunt for the geocache and explore a trail at the same time. Between all the searching and tracking, your kids will want to get outside and find as many as they can. With the CDC’s recommendation that kids exercise for 60 minutes a day and the evidence of the benefits of playing outdoors, that excitement is something you’ll want to take advantage of.

So whether your kids are balking at going outside in the colder weather or you have a hard time pulling them away from their devices, geocaching is a great middle ground. Looking for geocaches is also a great way to discover new trails and parks. And, kids can make their geocaching adventures part of a school report or science project. The thrill of the chase is just as rewarding as finding the geocache, helping to teach patience and persistence.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and see what treasures you can find. And if you need more ideas for how to get your kids playing all year round, inside your home and out in your yard, stop by one of our Play N’ Learn showrooms to see the fun we can bring to your family.

How Parents Can Help Make Playground Time Safer

October 23rd, 2015 by

How Parents Can Help Make Playground Time SaferWe all love to see our kids play and have fun, and we know that playing has benefits past putting a smile on little faces. Playing is good for coordination as well as muscle and emotional development, and can reduce stress. So here at Play N’ Learn, we take every opportunity there is to get out and play. But sometimes accidents do happen — it’s inevitable with the running, jumping, crawling, and more that comes with having a blast. Still, as parents, there are things you can do to make sure that your children enjoy playtime as safely as possible. Here are four easy ways to start.

1. Check playground equipment to make sure it’s received routine maintenance
Before setting your kids loose to have a good time, it’s a good idea to walk around your local playground to make sure everything looks and feels well maintained. There shouldn’t be loose or wobbly elements, and whatever protective flooring is in place shouldn’t be worn out. If any playground equipment seems to need a tune-up, especially as the seasons change, keep your kids (and their friends) off of it until repairs have been made.

2. Make sure your kids are playing on age-appropriate equipment
Another easy thing you can do to keep your kids safe at the playground is to make sure they are playing on age-appropriate equipment. For your children’s and others’ safety, they should stick to what has been deemed safe for their age group, no matter how alluring the equipment being used by older children may be. Many playgrounds have a variety of types of equipment available in the same location, including elements like low platforms and shorter slides for children under five, and swings and monkey bars for older children.

3. Leave your phone in your bag
We all get distracted by our devices, and when the kids are occupied, it may seem like a good time to get caught up on your emails, the news, or just get in a quick round of Candy Crush. But studies show that children are three times more likely to engage in risky behavior on the playground when their parents are distracted by electronic devices. Being able to stop those risky behaviors, like jumping off swings or using equipment outside of its intended use, before they turn into accidents requires your attention — and few distractions.

4. Keep your conversations in a place where you can still supervise
Electronics aren’t the only things that can pull your attention away from your kids when they’re in action at the playground. When all the parents are in one spot, it can be easy to get wrapped up in a conversation and not realize the kids have invented an innovative new game that might end in an accident. While the playground should be fun for parents, too, it’s important to keep an eye and ear on your kids at all times.

Getting your kids out to play should be a fun occasion, and keeping them safe doesn’t mean that your play time needs to be full of worry. Incorporating these few easy habits into your play routine can make it easy to keep your kids as safe as possible while taking those few inevitable bruises and scraped knees in stride. And if you’re ready to bring home the fun of an age-appropriate playground that can even grow with your kids, stop by a Play N’ Learn showroom. We can talk you through the process of adding play solutions to your yard that will be fun and safe for the whole family.

How to Join the Fun on National Play Outside Day

October 2nd, 2015 by

How to Join the Fun on National Play Outside DayDid you know that every first Saturday of every month is National Play Outside Day? Created in 2011 to encourage families to get outside and get moving, this “holiday” is a great way to make playing outside feel like an occasion. There are no formal, scheduled events associated with National Play Outside Day, but you can make it an event each month with your family. All you have to do to celebrate is go outside and have fun.

We’ve written before about just how beneficial and long-lasting the impacts of outdoor play can be. Yet in recent decades, children have begun to stay indoors more, spending as few as 30 minutes outside playing each day, but six or more hours a day on screens, according to a BBC article. All troubling information given that outdoor play can help young minds and bodies stay healthy.

In the face of chillier weather and shorter days, TV, computers, tablets, phones, gadgets, and other indoor activities become even more alluring. Some days it takes a concerted effort to get kids outside. Putting National Play Outside Day on your calendar for the first Saturday of each month is a great way to make sure you have dedicated time set aside for fun outdoor activities. If your kids love it, they’ll look forward to it over and over again each month.

So what kinds of activities can your family do to celebrate that will make outdoor play feel like a special occasion? Here are a few ideas:

  • Try a new biking path, let the kids help choose where to go, and then show them on a map how far you went.
  • Go apple picking at a local farm — see how many different types of apples you can identify — then make your favorite apple recipe at home with what you picked.
  • Hold a family HORSE tournament, and let the winner choose the dinner menu. Fun in the driveway often attracts other neighborhood kids. Before you know it, your kids will be making new friends around something other than a video game.
  • Invite neighbors to join in on a block party with relay games. Who doesn’t love a party?
  • Try out a different playground. It’s easy to go with what is familiar, but maybe the next town over has a playground that has different equipment, new slides, and new friends to meet!
  • Take your dog to the park to play catch. Even he probably needs more exercise! Let the kids invent a new game for the dog, or check out these 10 fun games kids can play with dogs.
  • Go on a nature walk and look for interesting plants and animals, or observe how the leaves are changing.
  • Make an obstacle course in the yard using household items and then invite friends — or even the family dog — to give it a try!

You get the idea — anything outside counts! Getting the whole family outdoors helps make new memories, models an active lifestyle, and creates respect for the environment — all important things for kids to learn early on. Take the opportunity for kids to use their imaginations, your family to meet new friends, and for parents to feel young again and have an excuse to unplug.

Getting outside doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or require a long trip in the car. You can celebrate National Play Outside Day in your own backyard or driveway!

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to encourage play in your yard or neighborhood, stop by a Play N’ Learn showroom to check out our playsets, basketball hoops, and more.