Strategically placed school playground equipment can help resolve behaviour issues in children who find it easier to express themselves physically. Dealing with behaviour is very complex and requires an integral understanding of the origins of the distress. Often children can become unsettled due to physiological as well as psychological reasons. Some children need to spin to feel better while others need the opportunity to vent their frustrations. Having a good selection of school playground equipment makes it easier to calm children who have a turbulent home life or have sensory disorders.
If you ever find yourself at sixes and sevens you probably need to spin, swing or rock to calm yourself down. The scientific term is, ‘Sensory Integration’, (www.especialneeds.com). Our vestibular system acts as a regulator for our whole body. It informs us of our positioning in the world, regulates balance and calms us when we are unsettled. Equilibrium can be achieved by rocking backwards and forwards or spinning. School playground equipment that allows children to regulate their vestibular system will help to calm children who feel overwhelmed by the world around them.
We all have days where a thousand things have gone wrong before we leave the house making us grumpy, frustrated and easily angered. Children are no different as they can arrive at school not having slept, had any breakfast and had a row with their parents. This suppressed anger becomes volatile and can be triggered by stress and mild irritation. Children who are prone to aggressive outbursts benefit greatly from being able to release their energy. Ten minutes stretching, climbing, having fresh air and time spent with a caring adult can help children to relax. The website www.livescience.com discusses the importance of playtime for children with ADHD.
Advances in school playground equipment design and a greater understanding of play have resulted in an exciting range of activities that have many benefits for learning and development. Playground equipment can have therapeutic advantages in the form of musical playground equipment, sand and water play equipment, environmental play and mud kitchens. When children can be creative they can express themselves in many different ways, for example, an angry child may not be able to recognise they are in turmoil but music they play could reflect their feelings. Quiet areas like shelters or storytelling chair areas give children a chance to spend quiet time together talking and being peaceful.
Most playground equipment has a degree of inclusivity and can be accessed by most children while other playground equipment has been designed specifically to accommodate children with physical or sensory difficulties. The only indication that these pieces of playground equipment are inclusively designed is the ‘Inclusive Design’ logo next to the images online and in the catalogues.
If you would like to add new pieces of playground equipment to your playground and would like further advice, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your options.
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