DELANO, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As vaccine rates increase and warm weather rolls out across the country, Americans are eager to get outside after a long stretch of indoor activities over the past 12+ months. One in three adults feel comfortable returning to public playgrounds, and their level of comfort increases as the summer months approach, according to a study commissioned by Landscape Structures Inc. on attitudes about playgrounds during and post pandemic.
Fifty-nine percent of all respondents indicated they visited a playground during the pandemic; of those who visited, 56 percent have children under 12. They visited to get some exercise, socialize with others, spend time on their phones, or read a book, among other activities. However, the most popular activity, if they were parents, was to play with their children.
Playground visits have a significant impact on the health and happiness of children. The study found that a large majority (66 percent) of trips to the playground over the last year were to provide exercise and because children have fun at playgrounds; half would visit for their child's mental health, socialization, and to get outdoors. Children felt the impact of the pandemic too, appearing to be the main driver behind the return to outdoor activities. The onset of COVID restrictions only realized a 27 percent drop in visits to the playground, suggesting that outdoor play remained a priority for those with children. And for those that did head out to a playground during the height of the pandemic, 56 percent wore a face mask and the same percentage brought hand sanitizer.
“Play is an integral part of childhood, and playgrounds enable those moments for children to grow and develop, whether working on socialization skills, finding the courage to go down the slide or imagining new worlds,” says Lynn Pinoniemi, Vice President of Marketing at Landscape Structures. “Parents did the best they could to supplement the experience amid COVID-19, but the playground experience and the benefits children get out of it just can’t be recreated. We are excited to see that adults, parents and children are fully embracing the return to play.”
The survey was commissioned by Landscape Structures and conducted by SMS Research. It took place in April 2021 and consisted of 1,080 adults over the age of 18.
The survey is part of Landscape Structures’ Shaped by Play campaign, which includes an inspirational video: We Come Back to Play. To find a Landscape Structures playground near you, click here.
About Landscape Structures Inc.
Since 1971, Landscape Structures Inc. has been the leading manufacturer of commercial playground equipment in the world. Our employee-owned company designs community and school playgrounds that encourage kids of all ages and abilities to learn persistence, leadership, competition, bravery, support and empathy through play. We push the limits—of design, inclusion, play—to help kids realize there is no limit to what they can do today and in the future. For a better tomorrow, we play today.