By the time you are an adult the world is no longer a mystery and inanimate objects are just things. If you are lucky enough to spend time with a very young child, your eyes are opened up to the magical mysteries of the universe. To the mature eye playground equipment is exactly what it says on the tin, but to children it is part of a magical world where almost anything is possible. Playground equipment is so versatile that it captures the imagination of children of all ages; little ones tentatively climb on the equipment while older ones throw their weight around with immense confidence.
We were all children once but as we get older our perception of the world gradually changes and everything becomes serious and a little bit boring. Oxbridge Academy has produced an infographic explaining how a child’s view of the world is different to an adult’s. Children just don’t care what others think of them because they haven’t yet learnt that people can think negatively about each other. A child’s imagination is not restricted by the shackles of logic so anything is possible. The world is an amazing place for our little ones and everything is beautiful, even sticks, stones and feathers – adults, on the other hand, take the treasure of nature for granted and nothing is magic anymore. Children relish in the glory of mud while adults think about the washing and try to keep clean.
Play is an amazing pastime that uses imagination and social interaction to help children to learn about the world around them. Children will chat away while playing on playground equipment, if there isn’t a real person to talk to they will engage the services of an imaginary friend. The topic of play will vary from adventures to reenacting life at home and many more scenarios that can be dreamed. A playground provides the perfect environment to act out an epic imagination game because it provides areas for problem-solving, creative play, social interaction and how to overcome fears. Teacher, Tim Taylor wrote an article in the Guardian titled, ‘Children Learn Best When They Use Their Imagination’. In it he describes how he is able to incorporate learning objectives in the National Curriculum into imaginative and fantasy play.
There are many different types of playground equipment from the traditional; slides, swings and roundabouts to beautifully designed trains and galleons. If you observe children playing you will find that they don’t always play with playground equipment in a conventional way. A slide can become a challenging mountain to climb and every child has shuffled up the slide and not the steps. We may see a train but children may see a cafe or house and treat the carriages like a little bungalow. Children can even imagine that a mound in the playground is a volcano and they will dig cautiously to make sure that they don’t cause it to erupt.
If you would like to increase the imaginative possibilities in your play area please contact us and we will discuss suitable playground equipment with you.
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