Recent developments in brain research have provided physical educators and play advocates with an avenue that connects physical activity with academic success. There is now a connection that provides us with substantial research that demonstrates that cognitive benefits can result from quality physical activity and play opportunities.
I have written previously about my contention that playgrounds and the playground industry have become increasingly out of sync with the needs of children and our communities. It is time we look at ways to make playgrounds more relevant. To begin that discussion we need to start by establishing what the fundamental conditions that support play are. At the most basic level, there are really only two things one needs to provide for play to thrive: Choice and Safety. While these words appear simple, we will see that, in this context, they are very complex ideas.