A Shed is not just a Shed when it is Play StorageFriday, 28th August 2015 12:42 pm
Play is an extremely important part of learning because it gives children the opportunity to practice and explore the world around them in safety. Nursery and reception children tend to spend a lot of time learning outside in specially organised areas within the school ground. Many schools have included Forest Schooling in their timetable, giving all children the opportunity to learn through outdoor play. Playtimes and lunch times are valuable times in the day when children are able to interact with their friends, climb on equipment, make mud pies, play football and generally have a break from the constraints of the classroom.
As the National Curriculum is becoming increasingly more academically demanding, the importance of free play in school increases. Children need to have the opportunity to bounce around and burn off their excess energy through open-ended outdoor play. Often the type of play children enjoy is not the type of play that adults would organise for them `We should bear in mind that children do also enjoy and probably get benefits from the kinds of play that adults do not prefer’. (Smith 2010).
The school’s role at playtime is to provide play equipment that will facilitate this type of play. In schools where children have, ‘forgotten how to play’, measures will have to be taken to show children the types of games they can play and inspire them to use their imagination, eventually they will be able to enjoy the freedom of play rather than mooching aimlessly around the playground. ‘Children who are not able to move freely around the playground in the way that suits their play narratives will become bored and frustrated, potentially causing the types of behaviours that the restrictions are trying to manage’. (Thomson 2003b)
A lot of play equipment is required in order to facilitate a wide variety of outside play for a whole school. Storing the various play items in a place where children can become part of the tidying up and looking after their environment is very important. For a large number of items, a Big Playdale Play Store would be ideal, not only is it fitted with internal shelving, it also has interactive features such as flower mirrors and butterfly chalk board. Children will be able to incorporate these features into their play, particularly by pulling faces in the mirror and looking at how amazing they are. If you have limited space a Little Playdale Play Store would be a more suitable alternative.