Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control reports that from 1989 to 1999, overweight kids ages two-five years old increased 36% and the Journal of American Medicine reported an upward trend in high blood pressure for kids 8-18? In its research, the CDC also found that the amount of time in front of a TV directly correlates with measures of their body fat.
It is estimated that in the US, kids six to eleven spend approximately thirty hours a week looking at a TV or computer monitor. These statistics also goes along with the largest increase in organized children’s sports in history.
As a parent, this is worrisome. Fortunately, our great city has a way to help combat this epidemic and it’s free! Huntsville has a wonderful collection of parks that may help kids get the “free play” or down time that has been shown to decrease stress, and certainly help keep them active.
Want to find a park or playground in your area? Our Valley Events has created a directory of the area’s parks and playgrounds to make it easy for you to get out and get active. Click here to view the directory.
In these playgrounds, kids can let their imaginations soar and become whoever they want to be. These playgrounds often initiate social interaction that helps them join with the world around them. Limited studies suggest that children who play outside have more friends.
Playgrounds for everyone
Huntsville and Madison offer a wide variety of playgrounds for all ages and abilities.
Here’s a couple examples:
- A skatepark to channel your inner Tony Hawk
- A playground that changes the way people look at playground needs
- A dog park to get your pet moving
- A splash park for those sweltering days of summer
Huntsville hasn’t stopped there. There will soon be a new playground with the expansion of Optimist Park that was designed by yours truly.
It will feature new playground equipment for a variety of ages, open free play areas for games of tag of just running off some energy, a walking trail for added exercise for the young and young at heart and pavilions and shade trees to help keep cool.
Also, in expanding the areas of water play in Huntsville, the City of Huntsville recently announced they received a Kaboom grant to expand Lakewood Park with a new splashpad and playground equipment. These playgrounds have been a hit downtown behind Earlyworks, and also in the middle of Bridge Street Town Center.
Our canine friends haven’t been left off the list either. A new dog “playground” in southeast Huntsville that will provide fun for all ages was announced recently as well. There are currently two dog parks in Madison County, one in downtown Huntsville and one in the city of Madison.
These playgrounds around town are a great place to get out and play, stay health, meet new friends, exercise your brain. There are plenty of them in and around Huntsville and will give you an answer when the kids say “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.”