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Playgrounds in Athens and the importance of Play

Playgrounds in Athens and the importance of Play

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Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by Celeste.

Playgrounds in Athens for outdoor free play exist everywhere. In combination with the pleasant climate and safety of the city, outside play in nature is possible for everyone. This post tells you more about the importance of play. It will also tell you how to get that so necessary family time for outdoor fun.

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The benefits of Outdoor Play

Many parents today spent their children riding their bikes and playing games like baseball or dodgeball on side streets and in neighbors’ backyards or on the streets. Many children today spend much of their time indoors, playing games on their tablets or watching television. The American Academy of Pediatrics says lots of unstructured outdoor play is critical to the health of children, though many have experienced a marked decline in the time they spend in free play.

Outdoor play gives children the opportunity to run, jump, climb, and more, all of which provide aerobic exercise and strength training. Outdoor play also strengthens the immune system and improves vitamin D levels, which can provide protection from osteoporosis and health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Play Reduces Anxiety

It is recommended that children get moderate to vigorous activity that adds up to at least an hour per day. And did you know that outdoor play can also reduce stress?! Children can also experience stress or suffer from conditions like depression or anxiety. These issues are becoming more common for today’s children, who have busy schedules with school and extracurricular activities.

Physical activity in the form of outdoor play can help kids to reduce this stress. Outdoor play is also important for intellectual and social development. Outdoor play helps children to focus better in a classroom setting and to enhance readiness for learning, easing the transition to school. It also encourages learning and problem-solving skills, which can help children perform better in the classroom.

The importance of play

The importance of play has been researched often. Unstructured outdoor play also promotes creativity, which children can apply to their academic learning, helping them see the material in another way. Outdoor play also gives children opportunities to learn how to work in groups, including learning how to share, how to negotiate, and how to resolve conflicts. And whilst the children are playing, parents have a chance to meet other parents and to socialize too!

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Playgrounds in Athens: free and available everywhere

So let’s reinvent play and head out to the nearest playground. It is free and available! Not only do the green suburbs provide playgrounds in Athens. Every city neighborhood, every square, and every district, inside the city center, offers some kind of playground or play area with toys and green. Most of them are fenced and some have guards too. Because of the warm weather and the long summer night evenings, the playgrounds in Athens usually offer a water faucet and evenings lights. Most have soft flooring in the shape of rubber tiles or sand.

Playgrounds in Athens

The playgrounds in Athens are in most cases clean and safe. The Athenian municipality has placed information signs at most of the city’s public playgrounds. Here you will find opening/closing hours and a contact number to report any broken or unsafe toys. Some public playgrounds are huge and next to the sea. Others are small and green, hidden away in between the concrete jungle. Some are state-of-the-art wooden play parks, like the ones in the green ex-pat neighborhoods of Filothei or Kifissia. Below are some of the best in Athens.

The playground in Athens’ National Garden

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The city’s National Garden offers an innovative and safe open space for children of all ages. The recently refurbished playground, suitable for preschool, school children, and teenagers, includes new play equipment such as swings, slides, and specially shaped structures.

The playground is now divided into three sections:

  1. Preschool Paradise: Designed for preschool children, it offers equipment for swinging, sliding, climbing, balancing, bouncing, and sensory play with natural materials like water and sand. It’s also inclusive, with ramps for children using movement support equipment.
  2. Central Play Hub: Created for preschool, school-age children and teenagers, it has equipment for swinging, sliding, climbing, and spinning. A pyramid-shaped structure and a castle-like hill structure beckon adventurers.
  3. Eastern Delight: This area includes rotating and swinging equipment for preschool and school-age children, with unique features like a ‘nest’ seat swing and an unconventional spinning mill.

The playground’s sustainable design integrates natural materials such as wood, shock-absorbing surfacing, and surface water absorption, while surrounding tall pine trees provide natural shading.

The south side of the playground is an extension of the hill that is home to ‘Amalia’s Rock‘ from where a small hill of one-meter-high horizontal tree trunks has been created and offers views of the playground.

The Ellinikon Experience Park 

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The Ellinikon Experience Park is located at the former Athens airport in Glyfada at a space of 6,200,000 sqm. The Ellinikon Park is an urban park with zen corners, a fitness area, and a magnificent playground. The unique combination of abundant nature and aviation heritage created a fun space for education and exploration. Operating hours: Mon – Sun, 17:00 – 21:00. 

The Athens’ Akadimia Platonos playground

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The inner-city playground at the Akadimia Platonos is recently renovated and accessible to children with disabilities. The play area, which includes recreational and sports facilities, protective surfaces, safety-tested materials and hardware, modern play equipment, and fencing, is located in the heart of the Plato Academy park.

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