Play helps shape children into balanced adults

We all know that young animals learn survival skills from playing in the wild. In fact it is the same, according to all the experts, with young children. Life skills learned in the nursery or the playground help prepare for adulthood in ways that can never be taught in the classroom.

It’s probably why many schools are now investing more and more into outside playgrounds. They see that a good balance between academic education and having fun. It helps to ensure that pupils are more inclined to learn.

Children love to play and this often mirrors what is important in their lives. When asked about play children talk about having fun, being with friends, choosing activities themselves, and being outdoors. Play can be quiet or noisy, messy or orderly, funny or serious, strenuous or effortless. It can take place inside or outside and develops as children grow and change.

Children play for different reasons

Sometimes they are exploring or learning new things. At other times they are consolidating, learning or practising a new skill. Play can also be a way of building or strengthening a relationship – and of course children regularly play simply for fun and enjoyment.

Using their imaginations they bring their own interpretations of situations, events, experiences, and expectations to their play. They like having their own spaces inside and outside, and often enjoy playing with other children and adults.

According to Playcubed, one of the country’s leading designers and installers of playgrounds, children also like and need props. These include such things as toys, equipment and real objects to play with and manipulate. This is why it is vital to design all the right components into a new nursery playground that will stretch a child’s imagination and challenge them both physically and mentally.

Children also love to make choices about when, what, where, how, and with whom to play and a good playground environment helps to foster those choices and create an environment where even the more timid children don’t feel left out.

So it seems that a playground is not just a place to have fun but an area that is training the well-rounded adults of the future – and nursery and schools have got the message.

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