A new report released by the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH), in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), recommends the use of cost-effective portable play equipment to increase physical activity levels in children in child care settings. "The Role and Value of Portable Play Equipment in the Child Care Center" outlines the need for and impact of portable play equipment on physical activity levels of young children in child care settings. The report details research presented October 11, 2013 at the Institute for Child Success SC Early Childhood Research Symposium.
Evidence shows that well-designed interventions, such as providing portable play equipment and training staff on how to conduct activities in the play environment are critical to increasing children’s physical activity levels. The existence of portable play equipment in place of fixed play equipment is a significant predictor of participation in physical activity and motor skill development. After portable play equipment is added to a center’s play areas, research shows decreased sedentary activity levels and increased light, moderate and vigorous activity levels. Larger play spaces and teacher-arranged activities can also enhance the impact of portable play equipment and further increase levels of physical activity. Other benefits of portable play include significantly lower acquisition and maintenance costs.
The report recommends that child care providers receive training and educational resources about the value of portable play equipment and how to increase physical activity levels and promote portable play equipment as a means of addressing center deficiencies, cost and safety concerns.
For a PDF copy of the full report, please visit the following link: "The Role and Value of Portable Play Equipment in the Child Care Center."