At Basement Sports, we are firm believers in vigorous play, particularly when it comes to children’s development. We enshrine this belief among our core principles, and use it to guide our decision-making processes.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, vigorous play is essential to a child’s development. “It contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth,” the Academy contends. “Play [also] allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.”
Online resource “the Genius of Play” identifies several additional benefits. Play helps children cope with fear, anger, and frustration in situations they can control. It also allows for the practice of understanding and empathy.
But for some researchers, facilitating vigorous play should be a goal for all ages. “We are designed to be lifelong players, built to benefit from play at any age,” says Eric Barker, author of Barking Up the Wrong Tree. “The human animal is shaped by evolution to be the most flexible of all animals: as we play we continue to change and adapt into old age.”
Last but not least, a burgeoning trend merges intense physical activity with the “mixed reality” space. Recent studies in support of this modality found that riding a stationary bike while looking at virtual reality scenery, known as “cybercycling,” improved several behavioral health disorders, especially among children. “Cybercycling appealed to [children] because they could engage in it successfully at their current ability level . . . When you are chasing dragons and collecting points, you can easily forget how hard you are working.”
In a similar vein, Basement Sports allows kids of all ages to work up a sweat and creatively structure their environment, all while keeping score on an engaging app. We look forward to continuing to be a force for social change, leveraging play as a key ingredient.