Why Play is a Growth Industry
It common knowledge that playing outside is great for children, but gone are the days when kids could explore or ride their bikes around the neighborhood, or the town, all day until the streetlights come on. Parents may also be at a loss when Texas weather feels like the Inferno’s front porch. Both of these paradigms mean indoor play has greater appeal for after school, weekends, and birthday parties. The $658 million in domestic revenue at indoor play parks, even in pandemic-stricken 2021, seems to confirm their growing popularity. Industry trends indicate that number will continue to grow as the economy continues to open and families have discretionary income again.
Indoor play areas allow children to stay active and entertained in safety and air conditioning, plus many supply snacks and drinks in-house, all of which are a bonus for parents as well.
In a time when indoor electronics are so attractive to most kids, indoor play parks have great diversity in type and style of activity. Multiple trampolines, zip lines, and rock walls are not practical in a typical suburban home, but large converted commercial buildings allow for all of these things in one place, at one price. Additionally, business establishments are legally required to provide supervision and a superlative level of safety. Children are free to experiment and attempt to master new skills without fear of injury.
Socially, children are faced with situations and challenges when they bond and interact with other children, which helps them develop imagination. With an indoor play area, they have the freedom to explore and develop their creativity while interacting with friends they might not otherwise have met in their school or neighborhood. Play also encourages children to socialize and understand particular social behaviors, but with supervisory staff or coaches who are actively watching. With parents also nearby, indoor play enables many layers of safety for children to learn new things via trial and error.
Crawling, climbing, balancing, stepping, running, and swinging provide support for gross and fine motor development, and experts agree that children who engage with physical activity regularly are healthier both mentally and physically. For neurotypical children, medical experts add that swinging, spinning, and pushing are a great way for your child to ‘re-boot’ the brain and provide focus. As a result, all of our children are more likely to want to face tasks and challenges head on, which is a great attitude for indoor soft play.