GREENVALE SCHOOL This Special School in Lewisham, London, had their new sensory garden opened by the local major.
SEVEN SISTERS PRIMARY SCHOOL See how Playcubed transformed this unused corner of the playground into an inspiring nature activity zone.
THE PERSE PELICAN SCHOOL An open area was made usable all year round at this primary school, with artificial surfacing and a study hut incorporating a large tree.
NATURE PLAY The world of nature offers so much for children to explore. Our bespoke Nature Areas are very popular, and with wildlife habitats and exotic planting, the children really feel they're out in the wilds.
THEMED PLAY Nothing makes for a more beneficial play space than a themed area. Children can loose themselves in imagination as they become absorbed in real-life, historic or futuristic situations. There are no boundaries to imagination!
CANOPIES Extend and utilise your space with a canopy. The beauty of a sheltered outdoor space is that it can be used for anything - work or play. Why not splash colour everywhere with our coloured perspex roofing panels?
Plenty of things change as we get older. Our taste in food, the way we think, and of course our physical ability – and that’s just the adults. And with such fast development in the childhood years, it’s understandable that the way children play goes through several phases as they grow older. However, play should also challenge them in different ways. Read on as we explore how play changes through the childhood years.
The first movements
Play and movement is important from day one for babies. It begins with reflexive movements, such as when babies jerk their arms and legs. Hardly an intense workout, but it’s the start of their slow journey towards controlled movement. As they develop, infants become more aware of their movements, and begin to work with their motor skills when they play:
· Gross motor skills involve large muscle groups like arms and legs
· Fine motor skills involve smaller muscle groups like the fingers and toes
Gross motor skills are essential in all the landmark moments for infants – sitting up, crawling and walking, while fine motor skills allow them to play with smaller objects, exploring new shapes, textures and colours.
Moving through childhood
As toddlers becomes children, their play becomes a lot more physical. They want to run, jump and even swing. There’s more to this that first meets the eye though. Physical activity is at the core of children’s social development. It’s how children meet new friends, and learn to cooperate and compete. With the right kind of physical play, young children can learn important behavioural skills like reciprocation, turn-taking and following rules, while also improving their physical fitness.
It’s not just mood swings and growth spurts – when children become teenagers, play is important in keeping them active. Whether it’s team sports or individual activities like yoga or climbing, it’s essential for teenagers to have the space and facilities to stay active. They may not refer to it as “play” any more, but this activity is also a great stress-reliever – and we all know how essential that is in the teenage years.
Looking forward, adolescent play lays the foundations for adulthood. It’s no secret that an inactive lifestyle is a factor in a wide range of health complications, so it really is essential for teenagers to make physical activity a part of their day to day life.
Providing the right space for play
Whether it’s sensory play for infants or sports courts for adolescents, it’s important that children have the right space to play throughout their childhood years. At Playcubed , we provide a wide range of play areas, active play facilities and sports surfaces across London and the South East.
Covering survey, design and installation, our comprehensive service makes it easy for you to get the perfect facilities for your school or public space. Get in touch today to discuss your needs with our team.
As much as children
might think otherwise, schools are more than just lessons, textbooks and
homework. Yes, while these are three of main reasons teachers lose sleep, there
are so many more. Another big task for schools is developing healthy habits for
their pupils. But is your school doing enough? This post explores the best ways
to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Get it in early
So, why is it that schools need to instil healthy habits in children? Quite simply, the earlier children learn it, the more natural it becomes. Like languages, maths and… anything really – learning healthy habits at an early age is much easier than adopting them later in life. It makes it much simpler to carry these habits into adulthood.
Five a day – and more...
Top of the list when it comes to healthy habits is a well-balanced diet. It’s no secret that childhood obesity is on the rise, which is being carried into adulthood increasingly nowadays ( read more on that here ).
The solution? Teach children about a balanced diet as soon as possible – and put it into practice. That’s not just five fruit and vegetables a day, but ways to get learning about lean proteins and complex carbs – and how to get these into your diet.
We’re all guilty of pigging out from time to time, but it’s also useful to introduce children to eating in moderation. Children don’t have to have the sweet stuff locked away, they just need to know when and how often they should eat it. Like us, really… It’s also important to know when you’re full. Teaching children about these simple things stops them overeating, as well as steering them clear of the unhealthy boredom snacking habit.
In 2015, the Government found that 1 in 5 children were obese, with 1 in 3 obese or overweight. Yes – really! Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years. What does that mean? Well, it spells an increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and breathing difficulties. That’s not mentioning the potential impact on children’s mental health and self consciousness.
It also means more unhealthy children growing into unhealthy adults, with the development of serious diseases more likely as time goes on. But what can schools do? A great deal, actually! Here are four simple steps your school can take to tackle childhood obesity.
1. Get out and play!
Exercise is essential for any person’s health – child or adult. Even if someone eats well or is the “ideal” weight, a lack of activity can have a negative impact on muscles, organs and joints. In addition to PE, which is required on the national curriculum, schools can encourage active play during break times too. Lucky for us, children love playing! They just need the right space and facilities to do so.
2. Promote cooperation and friendship
Getting children to play can be a problem if they feel isolated. Schools should encourage children to make strong friendships. Here are some ideas:
· Icebreaker activities to introduce children from day one.
· Group activities in lessons.
· Team games in PE lessons.
· Change around seating plans to get children talking to different classmates.
3. Food education
They say you are what you eat – and, to some extent, it’s true! Even the most active child will not be healthy if they aren’t eating the right food. As well as offering balanced meals and healthy snacks, schools should look to educate children about food so they make the right choices at home and in future.
Worried about squeezing it into the already-jammed timetable? Try incorporating it into other lessons, like maths, science and art.
4. Mental support
Being overweight can affect the mental wellbeing of children. But it can also work the other way . If a child doesn’t feel supported, they’re less likely to lead a healthy lifestyle. And where do kids look for support? Adults, of course. Make sure children are supported at school by offering them the chance to talk about any issues and reinforcing positive thinking.
Providing the means for a healthy lifestyle
You can’t force a healthy lifestyle on children, but at school you can give them the knowledge and means to pursue it themselves. At Playcubed , we provide tailored play areas and facilities to schools across Greater London. Covering consultation, design, presentation and installation, our service makes it easy for your school to get the perfect play areas and facilities. Get in touch today to discuss your requirements.