If I had a dollar for every time I heard this! My response? Yes, it is.
1) A backyard playset is an investment in your child.
It stimulates their imagination.
The girls love to pretend. One day the playset is a pirate ship. Maya made her sister “walk the plank” by going down the slide, then she was rescued by another, smaller ship (the glider); here is pirate Maura saying “arrrgh!” The next day they’re little chuggers, pulling into a train station…
It encourages social development.
For Maya especially, having a place where she can interact with lots of kids is key, as she didn’t go to preschool. Here she’s learned to take turns, practices her manners, and forges long-lasting friendships.
It fosters self-confidence.
“Look at me, mommy!” I hear this non-stop, as the girls learn new skills and techniques. Whether it be learning to pump their legs on a swing, climbing the rock wall for the first time, or landing on their feet when they fly off the slide, there’s something to be said for risk-taking and the sense of accomplishment that derives from doing so.
It improves strength, coordination, and balance.
Every feature of the playset focuses on different muscles. Climbing a rock wall takes significant physical agility, for example. My favorite accessory is the glider, especially when kids figure out that they can get it moving on their own, with the strength of their legs.
It gets kids moving!
I just went to Maya’s Kindergarten orientation and was surprised to hear they only play outside for a short while after lunch, and go to P.E. (physical education) once a week. Maya has so much unstructured outside play time right now, that I’m sure sitting in a classroom for most of the day is going to come as quite a shock.
2) A backyard playset is an investment in your home.
The beautiful wood structure fits in perfectly with its surroundings, and really becomes the centerpiece of backyard activities. Kids will want to come over and play. You’ll meet new neighbors, and spend so much more time outside than you ever dreamed you would.
It adds value to your backyard. Even if you’re afraid you’ll be moving in couple of years, it’s still a wise purchase. This could be what makes a family choose your house instead of a similar one for sale in the same neighborhood. And I’m all about living in the present. Think about how much fun your kids can have playing on it daily over the next two years. Hours and hours!
So yes, a backyard playset is an investment… one that promises to reward you many times over!
I gave Maya my Flip cam and told her to show me around her playset, The Highlander. This is what she came up with. It might make you a little dizzy, but is worth watching. Especially the end.
Disclosure: As part of an ongoing relationship, Backyard Discovery provided my family with the wooden playset pictured above, and will be covering my BlogHer ’10 conference expenses. Visit the newly redesigned Backyard Discovery website – the 3D viewing option is super cool!