Children love playing in playgrounds in public parks, school and nursery. A great playground, though, not only offers the opportunity to have fun, but to grow and develop physically, to learn about independence and social skills, and to improve and develop cognitive ability.
There are lots of ways that a playground can encourage mental stimulation in the pupils enjoying the space, and if you are designing outdoor playground equipment, it’s important to include those considerations in your plans. Read on for some helpful ideas on how to design a playground space that will stimulate the minds of your little learners:
A Bright Colour Is Not Just Beautiful
Science tells us that bright colours are integral to a child’s development. They are one of the earliest ways that we learn communication, and how to differentiate one item from the next. We begin as infants with less colour awareness, and as we develop, bright primary colours are more visible, with red and blue proven to be the colours very young children spend looking at, compared to yellow and blue. As children get older colours continue to be a core aspect of how children learn and as they develop emotionally, they also learn to associate bright colours with different emotions – matching blue to sad, and yellow to happy, for example.
When you construct the perfect playground to stimulate a child’s brain, it will definitely benefit from some bright colours. Bright equipment is great, but you can make the overall layout much more vivid with bright fencing and bright flooring like Vivid Grass and Wet Pour. These kinds of surfacing options can also be useful in creating different ‘zones’ for a playground too.
Fun Looking Down
Kids love great equipment in a playground, but they can gain a lot from thermoplastic markings on the floor, too. Thermoplastic markings depicting games, alphabets, numbers, cartoon characters – they all invite children to use their imagination, to socialise, to create their own games and to engage with academic subjects like English and Maths in a different way.
Markings like The Daily Mile and court markings can also actively support and encourage children to exercise, which in turn helps to increase blood flow to the brain and strengthens neural connections, aiding cognitive development and helping children concentrate more and retain information in the classroom.
Every Piece Of Equipment Brings A Bundle Of Benefits
The main way to ensure a playground stimulates the minds of kids is to choose the right equipment for your outdoor space. Every single piece of equipment offers different benefits for the minds of little learners, but equipment designed to encourage imaginative play is especially beneficial. Mud kitchens, for example, encourage imaginative play, which is proven to lower anxiety, improve academic abilities, help kids to focus and concentrate, helps children to express emotions, and explore how they feel safely, and even increase a child’s understanding of English and communication. Climbing frames, towers and other key playground equipment can also encourage imaginative play in children of all ages, especially if it is themed.
Being out in nature is great for the minds of little learners, and helps them to connect to the wider world around them. Nature inside the playground in the way of planters or bug hotels can help children to think more about scientific concepts and the wider world, especially in connection with outdoor lessons and science projects that provide them with more information about the plants and animals thriving in these accessories.
Emotional Regulation Predicts Better Academic Results
Playing in the playground, especially socially with shared equipment, helps children to learn emotional regulation as they learn how to identify, process and regulate feelings of frustration or excitement. They pay attention to what their peers are doing and how their peers are acting. Science tells us that being able to emotionally regulate is highly impactful when it comes to the academic performance of children. A playground that encourages children to be social includes shared equipment where children play together like mud kitchens and towers, and where they might have to take turns and negotiate, such as with swingsets.
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” – Fred Donaldson
If you would like more help designing a playground that stimulates the minds of your little learners, speak to the professionals today. They can discuss your needs, the benefits of different equipment and designs, and help you have the perfect outdoor play space to suit your school or nursery.
With the right playground the children in your care can have fun whilst they learn, and benefit from their outdoor play space long after they’ve made memories at playtime.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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