Play Therapy & Free Play

Play Therapy & Free Play

The concept of playgrounds, parks, and playground games are believed to have originated in Germany over 200 years ago.


These playgrounds were erected in connection with schools for the purpose of instilling behaviors that reflected good manners and fair play in children.

“It is the essential nature of man to play.” ~ Plato

The popularity and importance of play and playground facilities for children continues to grow, and not only for the recreational benefits. A playground is a site amenity that provides far more value than you might think.

Play Therapy

Child play therapists and psychologists have long understood the beneficial effects of play, such as elevating spirits, fostering learning, and problem solving.

The Association for Play Therapy (APT) is a national professional society with the mission of promoting the value of play and play therapy.

Watch their excellent video introduction to the importance of play:

Free Play

A popular definition of play, used widely across the play industry was authored by Bob Hughes of Play Education in 1982.

He described play as behavior which is “freely chosen, personally directed, and intrinsically motivated, i.e. performed for no external goal or reward”.

The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) launched an initiative called the “Voice of Play” to promote the quality and quantity of children’s play. It encourages all parents and guardians to take the “Play Pledge”, which reads:

“I pledge that my child(ren) will have at least one hour of outdoor play each day. I am making a commitment to my child’s healthy development by recognizing the importance of making play a priority in his/her life.”

To learn more about Free Play, watch their short video:

For questions regarding our commercial playground equipment and it can promote play and its benefits, contact Bob Hansen at Pet and Playground Products™.


Learn more about the History of Playgrounds.

Photo Credit: “Children’s Playground in 1943 – Golden Gate Park” ~ San Francisco Public Library

Pet and Playground Product is a nationwide distributor of outdoor site amenities, including park and site furnishings, playground equipment, outdoor fitness equipment and dog poop disposal products.

Posted in Kid's Playground Equipment