Meta Study Shows Play Shapes Children

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Study illustrates vital role of play on leadership skill development and more

Children’s early experiences and the settings they inhabit play a powerful role in shaping the adults they will become. That’s according to a meta-study recently commissioned by Landscape Structures Inc., a Delano, Minn.-based commercial playground equipment manufacturer, in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development. The study aggregates and analyzes key findings from some of the most influential studies on children and play.

Authored by Julie Vaisarova, B.A., Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, Landscape Structures commissioned the meta-study to understand how children’s play behavior on school and community playgrounds contributes to whole-child health and development. The study draws from a wide body of social scientific analyses and cites a broad mix of experts—educators, child psychologists, playground designers and others—to reinforce the value and developmental necessity of children’s early play experiences.