Play is to children what to coffee is for adults. Just can’t do without it. Emphasis is paid on the play and physical learning activities for kids. “Play” comprises of a wide range of activities, physical and mental that generate enjoyment and pleasure.
Playtime is essential for kids as it is during play that kids learn a lot of things they’d miss out on otherwise. It not only improves their motor functions and dexterity but also increases brain activity. Kids learn to share. They learn to bond with other kids. They make friends. It helps in the cognitive development of the children. They learn how to interact with others in a society.
We do not see kids playing the games we used to. The play has gotten softer. The kids are seen playing video and computer games in comparison to physical play. What has brought about such a drastic change in the games and play activities of the children and How to change this pattern?
When we see the kids playing these days, their games either revolve around electronic devices such as computers or mobile phones or the games have do not involve as much physical activities as required. We can blame the lifestyle of families for the same. Children require a set amount of physical activity in order to let their bodies function perfectly.
Outdoor playgrounds are gaining importance lately as this lets the kids to have a fun time along with getting enough of sunshine and fresh air. There has also been a rise in development of playground equipment that facilitate learning as well as fun. These equipment are designed to ignite the curiosity in children and therefore enhancing their problem solving skills. The outdoor playgrounds have evolved from being a leisure area for kids to learning units. And even better so, the kids learn while they play.
Play areas are important in the overall development of a child. What are the benefits of playing and these play areas?
Playing in outdoor playgrounds inculcates a habit of playing outside, exploring in nature and so on. These children will like to spend their leisure and workout time outside in fresh air throughout their lives as they will relate to the happy memories of play during childhood in nature. There are many benefits that are associated to play:
1. Kids develop healthy habits
Obesity in children has become a widespread “disease” these days. And it can be credited to the unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical exercise. Outdoor and fitness playgrounds encourage kids to play that lead to burning extra calories thus keeping them fit.
2. Physical skills are learned and improved
Outdoor play encourages physical activities such as jumping, running, throwing and catching objects etc. These motor skills are learned during playtime. Kids also perform actions such as swinging, pulling and pushing, lifting etc that helps them grow stronger and improves the dexterity as well.
3. Helps in learning skills that are useful throughout life
Playing with other kids not only teaches kids motor and cognitive skills, it improves their social skills too. Children learn to communicate with other children, they learn to think creatively. Many a times theme parks and playgrounds channel kids to do specific activities related to the themes. This broaden their horizon of knowledge.
4. Helps in confidence-building
Risk taking is an activity that offers a good amount of learning. Kids need to be taught how to take risks without being guided and protected by teachers or parents. Doing so not only increases their self-confidence but also inculcates a habit of learning by following their instincts. It is at this stage that kids develop self-esteem, confidence and decision-making skills.
How do theme parks and playground themes assist in play?
Playground themes are very common these days. Many parks and playgrounds are themed. These are not only designed for “a fun day at the park” time but also as picnic spots for families and moreover good learning areas for kids.
Firstly, an outdoor or indoor playground, that is theme based is built in a way that it covers landscaping and architecture based on the theme. Secondly, the play can go on in a storytelling manner. This makes the kid get involved in decision making and exploring activities. Depending on the type of theme park that your kids are going to, the activities will vary. For example, a farm based park will offer kids a chance to know closely about nature and how the vegetables and fruits thatchy eat are grown. They learn about gardening and other related subjects. They develop a sense of responsibility and care towards plants. A water park will offer facilities where children can get to learn swim and remove the fear of water. They can learn various water sports. These parks are specially designed for children hence the safety measures that required to be taken are proper. Children learn to be independent and at the same time, they learn to be in groups and interact with others.
How can the playgrounds be made more interactive? How to pick innovative themes and equipment for parks?
Outdoor and indoor playgrounds can be developed on concepts of innovative themes like farmhouse, military theme, treasure island, water parks, beach, castle, wild west etc. Architects, landscapers and interior designers will help design the park and playgrounds in details catering to kids of various ages.
When a theme is selected for playgrounds and parks, the play areas are designated, the walkways, the grass-patches, space for play equipment and so on. The play equipment need to be installed according the theme that is being followed. So let’s say, if the playground is built on a theme of treasure island and pirates then the landscape will require small ponds, hanging bridges, patches of palm trees, sand pits and many other details. So the equipment required for this theme will differ from those required for a playground for specially-able children.
Let us take a look at some of the new and innovative play equipment available on ProjectLink. Many areas of play equipment are resources are covered under the umbrella here. Whether an indoor playground has to be made or an outdoor space has to be developed into a themed park, ProjectLink has it all ready for you. Here are some of the state-of-art equipment that are ready for purchase on the site:
1. Play System
Play Systems are complex play structures that consists of monkey bars, slides, swings, still rings etc. that enable the kids to play using their imagination. It offers limitless possibilities for entry and exit and develops a sense of adventure in them. This system is ideal for kids of 5 to 12 years of age. The design is aimed at developing muscle strength, agility, flexibility, depth perception, endurance and mental working. The best part is that even the specially-abled kids can use it and develop the upper body strength.
Whether, it is pirate themed playground or a military fitness playground, sandpits are everywhere. Sandpits are the places where most of the creativity comes into play. The sandpits can be just dug out in a place or be bordered regions filled with sand to let the kids enjoy. ProjectLink has some useful and innovative products to offer.
Edges that are interlocked form the boundary and the area can be filled with sand or playground mulch. The border also facilitates seating for the kids. The material will not get hot and hurt their sensitive skin and it is easy to assemble into any shape. The pit has very low maintenance cost. These can be bought in any cool on request.
3. Shadow Play
The shadow play equipment is an innovative equipment that is ideal for not only in theme parks and playgrounds, but it is a play area in itself. This has been designed in such a way that it helps kids develop the cognitive skills in kids while they play with shapes and colors. This setup consists of panels of coloured translucent material in organic shapes. These panels are installed at various heights. The sun reflect through these reflecting the colors of these installations onto the ground. It is aimed at working on the kid’s balance, hand-eye coordination, decision making skills, sight and strength. The setup also has bars and other play equipment attached to it.
4. Water Play
Water is always fun to be in. An entire setup offered by the site can be installed at any park or playground. This installation can also be installed in schools or fitness playgrounds. It is safe and is planned in such a way that water does not get accumulated. Even differently-abled kids and kids of all ages can play here.
5. Board Games for Outdoors
Board games have always been a part of indoor playgrounds, but if the size of a board game is increased and placed in an outdoor playground then it becomes a source of enjoyment and learning for kids.
So whether it is chess, snakes and ladder, hand ball, hopscotch or anything else, ProjectLink has such options to be added in theme parks and play areas.
6. Play equipment for Specially-abled Kids
Specially-abled kids have limited areas and source of play. Many are wheelchair bound or have certain other difficulties. The access spinner has been designed to let kids of al abilities to use it and play together. It can hold the wheelchair without letting it slip and it has enough space to let more kids join in.