One of the most unique things about children, and the most rewarding thing that comes with raising them, is watching the way they learn and grow. Childlike innocence and wonder is something we believe should never be taken from a child. It is through these characteristics that children learn about themselves, those around them, and the world. While every child eventually grows and matures, in order to do so healthily their childhood should nurture these qualities.
One of the places a child’s imagination, wonder, and energy can truly run wild is the playground. A good playground will encourage and challenge a child in a safe environment while exciting and stimulating their senses. This is where careful, considered, and expert playground design comes into play.
Through the first quadrant of our ‘serious about play’ model, we focus on how to help preserve and protect the mind of children while still encouraging them to grow through play-based learning.
Why it’s important:
The core of this quadrant focuses on minimising negative experiences around play to preserve the mind. In a poorly designed play space, the risk of these negative experiences can range from physical injury to inaccessibility, to negative social interactions. These negative experiences can affect children, often by putting an erasable mark on their childhood innocence. Trauma can stunt or hinder a child’s development in a range of ways. When a child is engaging in play they are growing both mentally and physically. Any negative experience, injury, or trauma will shape a child’s perspective.
At a young age, children are highly impressionable. This is the stage in which they begin forming opinions, habits, and behaviours that they will inevitably carry long into their adult lives. This is why it’s so important to encourage and enable children to form positive behaviours that will develop into happy, healthy, and engaged adult members of society. Providing a safe, positive, challenging, and encouraging play space for children to grow and learn is so crucial. This is where they can challenge themselves, stretch their imagination, and find their place in the world on their own terms while having a ball.
What effect does it have?
Fit, active, and happy students with access to safe, yet still challenging play equipment and play-based learning, will usually be more engaged in the classroom. A fit body helps keep a fit mind. The exercise a child’s brain gets from the play will also help them develop skills for the classroom.
Play helps children develop both motor skills and cognitive development. The physical exercise that comes with play also keeps children happy and healthy. When children are given time to play, have fun, and be active this can help boost their concentration and focus upon returning to the classroom.
If children are playing cooperatively in the playground with others this also helps them develop crucial social skills they can take back to the classroom and use in cooperative learning.
Setting up the future generation of your community starts with setting up children with the right play equipment. When children can play safely, be challenged, and encouraged to take risks in a safe environment they grow into healthy, happy, engaged members of society.
A good playground in your community means happy, active, and social children. It means all children in your area have access to equipment that will not only preserve their mind and positive experiences of childhood but give them all equal opportunity to engage in play-based learning.
Having a well-designed playground in your community can act as a hub. Putting the unity in community through providing a place for families and children to come together. This helps build stronger communities and positive people.
Landscape architects play a very important role in creating play spaces for communities and schools. They are often looked at as the architects of community spaces that families spend a lot of time in. This is a big responsibility far beyond just making a playground that is aesthetically pleasing. While the physical side of playground equipment is important, considering how a play space will preserve the wonder and imagination of childhood is just as critical.
Focusing solely on the physical aspects of a playground won’t provide the best and most enriching play experiences for children.
Considering how a play space design will help preserve a child’s mind allows landscape architects work to lead onto a more prosperous community where parents are given the tools to build a quality relationship with their children while encouraging understanding the imagination and joy of their child while they play.
A thorough landscape architect should consider how they can involve this quadrant in their design decisions. For example, is the layout conducive to parent and child interaction? Does the equipment that has been selected provide an opportunity for imaginative play? Is the equipment able to be used by less abled children, avoiding any trauma or bad experiences they may have by coming to a play space? Once these questions can be answered the work and its outcomes will be of a higher quality.
How Is Preserving the Mind Achieved?
At adventure+ we’re serious about play. Serious about designing play equipment that is fun and exciting for children while also catering to their developmental needs. While for a child a playground may just seem like a place to have fun, we know it has the potential to be so much more than that.
A well-designed playground and playground equipment should be a place where a child’s imagination and excitement can roam free. Through this they can enjoy being a child whilst simultaneously learning the skills they need to be an adult. By providing children with these positive spaces for play based learning each child is given the opportunity to learn social skills, build confidence, and stay fit and healthy. By giving children a place to indulge their innocence and childlike wonder they are able to grow and mature at their own pace, rather than be prematurely robbed of these experiences at an impressionable age.
Good playground design creates positive experiences and learning opportunities that help your children grow into their best selves. That’s why adventure+ is serious about play.