From the time the first playground was built in the United States 130 years ago, school playground equipment has been an essential part of childhood development. Swinging on swings, climbing jungle gyms and hanging on monkey bars conjure up happy memories of simpler times when hours were spent having fun on at the neighborhood playground.

In today’s technology driven world, playing outside has become even more important. According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, children aged 8 to 18 spent 4.5 hours a day watching TV in various forms, including on their mobile phones and the Internet. Additionally, even though 83% of parents say it’s important that their children learn how to use technology, nine out of 10 would prefer them to spend their childhood outdoors.

Periods of regular play as a child are linked to the development of nearly 400 genes in the cerebral cortex. Playing on a playground, kids learn the importance of playing alone or with other kids, learning and experience different emotions as they play and develop social skills.

It’s important for health as well. To maintain a healthy weight, children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise per day. Today, less than one-third of children reach the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s classification of “active to a healthy level,” which is just 25 minutes of high-calorie-burning physical activity three times a week.

Playgrounds are plentiful in the United States—Chicago has more than 300 playgrounds at its public parks. However not all kids get the recommended amount of exercise.

While there are plenty of benefits of outdoor play, indoor playgrounds offer plenty of benefits as well:

  • Keeping kids active: Studies have shown that kids who stay active are healthier, not just physically but emotionally too. Kids who stay active will be more attentive and hopefully more motivated academically. Seventy three percent of US school districts provide a recess period for students, but only 43% of kids aged 6 to 11 get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise. An indoor playground can be a great place to burn off some energy.
  • A good alternative: While outdoor playgrounds are traditional and fun to play on, indoor playgrounds are a good alternative. For one thing, if it rains that eliminates the possibility of playing outside. Rather than being cooped up in the house, you can take the kiddos to an indoor playground where they can run, jump, climb and crawl to their heart’s content.
  • Social skills: Playing on in an indoor playground helps kids become aware of their surroundings and gives them a chance to interact with other kids. While playing on an indoor playground, kids can certainly have fun, but they can also learn concepts such as problem-solving, fair play and winning and losing.
  • Birthdays: An Indoor playground for kids is often filled with a number of entertainment options. That makes an indoor playground an ideal spot for birthday parties and other celebrations.
  • Safety: Indoor playground equipment is soft and padded, so there’s less of a chance that a child will hurt themselves. Indoor play areas also have supervisors on hand to keep an eye on kids playing and it also makes it easy for parents to keep an eye on their children.

For communities wanting to build an indoor playground, many commercial companies offer indoor play structures for sale and commercial indoor playground equipment. Talking with a playground company offer indoor play structures for sale can give community members an idea of what indoor play structures for sale may cost and what rules there may be for constructing one. There are plenty of options for indoor play structures for sale and constructing one can turn the indoor playground into the new community hot spot.