Funding Project Playground at the Church at Stony Hill

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On the playground, children instill in themselves an inner flexibility and an increased social competence—skills that carry over into adolescence and adulthood.

By Sam Weisend, The Church at Stony Hill

On the playground, children make their own way—clasping, crawling and climbing—continuously challenging themselves to reach their full potential. A safe and engaging environment allows children the space to freely explore their physical, emotional and spiritual development.

Playgrounds are safe environments for children taking their first steps into the world as they gain mastery of motor skills. They learn the basics of balance and coordination as they clasp swings and thrust their legs back and forth. They discover strength and agility while crawling through tubes. 

And climbing elevates spatial, directional and body awareness. Unstructured play motivates self-directed development. The basic physical motor skills mastered on the playground become the basis for the specialized skills necessary for Little League later on.

Yet, the lessons learned on the playground also equip children for life’s larger field. The playground is a space for children to interact with a larger social circle. On the playground, children define and to take on diverse roles, predict outcomes and creatively solve problems.

Social dynamics are at play as children learn to negotiate the democracy of the playground.  Tea parties turn into games of tag that end in taking turns going down the slide. Unstructured play teaches children that life doesn’t always go as they planned, but they can still have fun along the way. On the playground, children instill in themselves an inner flexibility and an increased social competence—skills that carry over into adolescence and adulthood.

Sadly, the opportunities for unstructured play are scarce in a world defined by the phrases “stranger danger” and “screen time.” Today, an epidemic of childhood obesity makes headlines.

We have an obligation to take an active role in reversing this trend. The Boy Scouts and the staff at Stony Hill School have created and maintained the playground at the Church of Stony Hill, and Project Playground lays the foundation for future generations. The community has come together to raise $5,000 for new playground equipment. We grow by coming together.

The Church at Stony Hill is located at 2756 Stony Hill Road in Medina. The phone number is 330-239-9858. You can visit them online at ChurchAtStonyHill.com.