Shaped by Play _ Inclusive Play

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Author: Austin Stanfel

There is a significant role that playing has in the nurturing and development of a child. Well, playing is not all about fun. Instead, playing allows children to grow, learn, and explore their environment. There are several possibilities that playing brings to the table.

For instance, when children play on a football field, they learn how to co-exist and work as a team. Similarly, when children work together in a group inside an art studio, they learn how to accept people of different talents, abilities, and ages. All in all, playing allows children to become leaders, dreamers, and thinkers.

For the most part, children get their leadership skills, support, empathy, bravery, competitiveness, and persistence in the playground. Hence, playing is not just fun. Instead, it is an organic way in which children can learn and grow as individuals.

Apart from aiding the physical development of a child, playing also allows children to improve their social and cognitive skills along with the development of tolerance, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. Most importantly, it enables children to regulate their emotions and to channel them out. This is the prime reason why children of all abilities and ages should be offered some free playing time.

Until now, playgrounds used to be overlooked and were not considered needing development. This is primarily because many people assume that playing is all about fun. However, based on research, the new settings and experiences that children go through plays a significant role in turning them into productive and healthy individuals.

Today, playgrounds can be designed to encourage developmentally significant engagement and various types of plays. Playgrounds allow children to have a lot of social playing opportunities that also involve plenty of physical activity. For instance, children can run around fighting imaginary beings, or they can swing on the monkey bars. This allows them to exercise their cognitive, social, and physical skills. That too, all at the same time.

Several well-designed playgrounds contain opportunities for children having varying degrees of abilities. For instance, toddlers who are still learning how to walk can take physical challenges such as climbing small steps of stairs. Whereas, a ten years old child may find it highly exciting to climb on top of a monkey bar.

Based on the Inclusive Play Survey by Landscape Structures, greater than 70% of the parents tend to agree that playground equipment should allow children to play inclusively. As a result of this, the company continues to design environments and equipment that children of different abilities and ages can engage with and play in together.

One of the most beneficial things about the inclusive playground is that they allow children to have a broad range of experiences all at once. This helps them develop all of their senses equally, rather than focusing on any particular aspect. Ultimately, the children grow into healthier and more impactful adults. These playgrounds make use of the latest play equipment that is designed to enhance the overall play experience of children.