In recent years, people have become more concerned about the health and cognitive benefits of play for children; this has led to the surge of the playground and different playground designs that can fulfill the requirement of children and others. There are different types of playground designs that have merged. These designs are made to cater to the special needs and demand. For example, if we are looking at health playgrounds, then these places will have a jogging area, full of greenery, ample space to walk and exercise. Similarly, for children playgrounds, the theme would be different. Here we will be talking about natural playgrounds.
Why Are Playgrounds Important?
Before we go ahead, it is essential to understand why playgrounds are so important and why people are getting inclined towards theme-based playgrounds.
- A dedicated area- Playgrounds are not just an accessory in a community; it’s a place where people can come together and spend time in the laps of nature. In times like today when greenery is missing from everywhere and poor health cropping up, people need to have a place where they can sit back and relax, a well-designed playground has all the equipment and accessories that create a perfect ecosystem for everyone.
- Development of motor skills in kids– Taking children to the playground is a must, it is not just about kids getting exposed to the natural environment, but at the same time, it also gives them the right stimulus to develop motor skills.
- Basking under the sun- Well know that sun rays are the ultimate source of vitamin D, but with high-rise buildings and apartments, it is difficult to find a place where you can soak yourself under the sun, a playground is a place where you get exposure to the sun and breath fresh air.
- Development of social skills– Another reason for the growing demand of playgrounds and parks is that this is the place where you get to meet new people and interact, thus helping in the development of social skills.
Natural playgrounds- These consist of elements and textures from the natural ecosystem like logs, trees, plants, drainage paths. These playgrounds provide a natural ecosystem to children where they can climb trees, plant trees, playing in the leaves, to sum in simple words, these playgrounds provide them with a natural environment to play and enjoy. These give children an area to freely move around and explore the natural elements by themselves.
As per the reports of Nature Play WA, they have a natural playground that provides the right environment for the development of gross motor skills. In addition to this, these natural playing areas not only help in the development of motor skills, but at the same time, it also leads to other health benefits like enhanced cognitive skills, better social skill development, lesser hyperactivity disruptive, and lesser aggression. With all these benefits, it becomes imperative that people are promoting playgrounds in their community. Those having larger areas are also inclining to convert it into a natural playing area where children can get maximum exposure to the environment.
Key Features Of The Natural Playground
- It makes use of natural materials like sand, rocks, trees, and plants.
- Unstructured play
- A lot of open areas for children to play
- Garden and planting area for the development of social skills
- Naturally shaded areas.
With all these humongous benefits, it becomes clear that a natural playground has become a necessity if we want to keep our children close to the natural environment. It gives them space to play, run, and interact. All the natural elements create a perfect ambiance for children and the elders.