The benefits of playground Design in schools
The spaces in which children spend their time can have a big influence on development, as well as the way they feel every day. A well thought through playground design in schools provides much more than simply somewhere to let off some steam. The right playground design, with a carefully chosen selection of equipment, can actually be a space that nurtures ongoing growth and development in many different ways. These are just some of the benefits of investing in playground design in schools in this way.
Improving cognitive skills
During developmental years, cognitive skills can be nurtured in every area of childrens’ lives. Where there are carefully designed spaces to play in at school this provides a great opportunity to help shape young minds and support development in the classroom. Problem solving and critical thinking are just two cognitive skills that can be targeted in playground design, creating spaces where children can try and test equipment and learn as they go. Creativity is another key skill that the right playground environment can help to develop, whether that is making up games or using the various elements within a school playground for self-expression.
Nurturing social skills
School playgrounds are where many of us tend to develop those initial, vital social skills. Meeting friends in the playground during lesson breaks – and interacting with other children from other classes – is all part of the process of building friendships and learning how to play well with others. This is where some of the skills that we require most in life can be successfully developed, especially if the playground has been designed to be a space in which these are nurtured. Communication, for example, is one key social skill that can be learned in the playground, whether that’s around voicing needs or negotiating to use equipment. Children can learn to work together in a well designed playground, to negotiate and be part of a team. Plus, it’s a space where conflicts can arise, which means it’s also an opportunity to learn how to navigate them.
A foundation for physical health
The main role that school playgrounds havr in the lives of the children who use them is as somewhere to get physical. A boring, dull playground that doesn’t provide any stimulation may not be a space that inspires the kids using it to play and have fun in a variety of ways. Whereas a playground designed to be inclusive and exciting will give all children a reason to start running around, burning off energy and using their bodies. This is important because it can provide a firm foundation for physical health going forward, so that children start to enjoy the feeling of exercise. A great playground can also help children to develop key physical skills like coordination, agility and balance.
Playground design in schools is a vitally important part of the experience that children have – and can be used to enhance what is learned at school in a number of important ways.