HARRISBURG, Pa., April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA), the playground industry's leading playground safety certification organization, and the Voice of Play initiative unveiled the PLAYFul Trends 2016 report at the US Play Coalition's Play Conference, held April 3-6 at Clemson University.
"People today live 'always-on,' stressed-out lives, and time for free, outdoor play has never been more important to de-compress and destress," said Scott Liebelt, president, IPEMA. "We know that play can positively impact physical health, as well as emotional, social and cognitive well-being in both children and adults. To shed light on the most exciting ideas for playtime, we brought together experts in play to explore the hottest trends with our PLAYFul Trends 2016 report."
Highlights of the report include:
- An Hour a Day – More and more educators and parents realize that play is crucial to kids' school experience because it helps them learn. Today's parents are fighting to get back recess time, which has fallen by the wayside as rigorous academics and test preparation have taken precedence over the benefits of constructive downtime. The Voice of Play advocates parents to make prioritizing play official by signing a Play Pledge.
- Mind Expanding – Artificial Intelligence (AI) is heading outdoors, engaging in sports like biking, skateboarding, basketball, table tennis and soccer. A perfect marriage of brain and brawn, STEM and fun, AI makes outside play an exciting experience. With continual improvements on the tech front, robots will one day be beating people at physical pursuits on the playground and not just in battles of the brain.
- It's Better Outside – Outdoor fitness pursuits have surged in the past few years with fitness enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes who prefer to workout with the sun on their faces. In fact, outdoor fitness parks are making their mark in parks and recreational areas around the country as a natural extension of the passion that many exercisers have for being outside.
- Beyond Childhood – More and more people, ranging from older adults to millennials to even children, are taking to play to decompress and relieve some stress. For grownups, it started with kickball or dodgeball games, and now, adults want to play like kids on even more fronts—like an adults-only playground planned for Astoria, Queens and a bouncy house for grownups that has sprung up in England.
The full trend report can be accessed on IPEMA's Voice of Play initiative website here.
The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association is a non-profit, membership, trade association that represents and promotes an open market for manufacturers of playground equipment and surfacing. IPEMA represents and serves its members by providing information on key economic and governmental issues affecting the play equipment industry and promotes relationships among related organizations. IPEMA provides third-party product certification services for public play equipment and surfacing in the United States and Canada, ensuring compliance with ASTM and CSA trade standards.
About Voice of Play
IPEMA's Voice of Play initiative promotes the benefits of children's play and playgrounds by providing information and resources to encourage the quality and quantity of children's play and the use of playgrounds. Through resources on the Voice of Play website – www.voiceofplay.org – and a social media outreach effort, the initiative heightens public awareness among key professional and consumer groups, including, parents, children, community groups, school administrators, parks and recreation professionals, playground designers and equipment manufacturers.
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SOURCE International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association