Monday, July 22, 2013

Improving Self-esteem with Adventure Play

Arizona Parks
Rio Vista Park
We have great parks in the Arizona especially in the Phoenix Area but did you know they are designed to be educational as well? Much of the newer playground equipment located throughout Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria is designed to be challenging to older children and even teens. The equipment is based on activities found at Adventure Recreation Camps.

Studies conducted at Adventure Recreation Camps have found that the activities typically involved with these camps improves the self-esteem of children 11 to 15. Adventure recreation typically involves challenging physical tasks such as rock climbing, zip lines and survival camping however these activities can also include problem solving tasks and mental challenges.

Research also supports that it is the overcoming of a challenge that produces the increase in self-esteem. It is this same action that is thought to take place earlier in life when a child plays with an educational toy; as the child masters a complicated toy he or she develops a feeling of competence. Some studies even suggest that an hour of green grass per day and outdoor play is essential to helping a child balance their emotions and focus their mental thoughts for school. Adventure camps have also been found helpful to the healing process in older children, tweens and teens that have suffered some sort of trauma.

We have discovered that several city parks have been built with these studies in mind. Both Saguaro Ranch and Rio Vista Park of Glendale have advanced playground equipment built much higher than average and made more challenging with bouncing and climbing features. Rio Vista also has a rock climbing feature built into the equipment as well as an indoor rock climbing wall for advanced adventure.

Several Peoria City Parks include zip lines and most include balancing equipment. If you have a typical Arizona home, you have a bit of grass in the backyard but it isn’t lush and green and you may not have tree to climb. Most of these special city parks offer green grass and climbing trees. For a break from the summer heat Rio Vista offers a splash park to keep cool or you can find great pools throughout both the City of Glendale and Phoenix. Have you also noticed that Urban fishing is available? I never noticed it until I attended Fish and Game Day. All you need is an affordable Urban Fishing Licence which you can purchase at Walmart and you can fish at one of the small ponds at Rio Vista Park.
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