Children learn through their play.
Outdoor spaces designed by children would not only be fully naturalized with plants, trees, flowers, water, dirt, sand, mud, animals and insects, but also would be rich with a wide variety of play opportunities of every imaginable type.
If children could design their outdoor play spaces, they would be rich developmentally appropriate learning environments where children would want to stay all day.
Playground Paradigm Paralysis We are all creatures of our experience, and our common experiences usually shape the conventional wisdom, or paradigms, by which we operate. When most adults were children, playgrounds were asphalt areas with gross motor play equipment such as swings, jungle gyms and slides where they went for recess.
So when it comes time to plan and design a playground, the paradigm is to search through the catalogues of playground equipment, pick a piece or two that looks good to the adult and place it in an outdoor space which resembles their childhood memories of playgrounds.
Then once or twice a day, teachers let children go outside for a recess from their classroom activities to play on the equipment. Today, fortunately, most playground equipment is becoming much safer than when adults grew up.
National standards encourage the installation of safety fall surfaces and ADA is making the equipment more accessible. However, limiting outdoor playgrounds to gross motor activities and manufactured equipment falls way short of the potential of outdoor areas to be rich play and learning environments for children.
This playground design paradigm paralysis also denies children their birthright to experience the entire natural outdoors which includes vegetation, animals, insects water and sand, not just the sun and air that manufactured playgrounds offer. It is a well accepted principal in early childhood education that children learn best through free play and discovery.
Quality play involves the whole child: Children used to have access to the world at large, whether it was the sidewalks, streets, alleys, vacant lots and parks of the inner city or the fields, forests, streams and yards of suburbia and the rural countryside.
Children could play, explore and interact with the natural world with little or no restriction or supervision. The lives of children today are much more structured and supervised, with few opportunities for free play.
Their physical boundaries have shrunk. Children have little time for free play any more.
With budgets for city and state governments slashed, public parks and outdoor playgrounds have deteriorated and been abandoned. Childhood and outdoor play are no longer synonymous.
Today, many children live what one play authority has referred to as a childhood of imprisonment. We were fascinated when the research consistently showed that children had a strong preference to play outdoors in natural landscapes, and that parents generally supported this kind of play.
The Love of Outdoors Two new disciplines, eco-psychology6 and evolutionary psychology, are now suggesting that humans are genetically programmed by evolution with an affinity for the natural outdoors. Evolutionary psychologists use the term biophilia7 to refer to this innate, hereditary emotional attraction of humans to nature and other living organisms.
Researchers say that for more than 99 percent of human history, people lived in hunter-gatherer bands totally and intimately involved in nature. So in relative terms, urban societies have existed for scarcely more than a blink of time.Our ideas for free-flowing creative activities can encourage your preschooler’s creative play and boost children’s learning and development.
Find out more. Preschooler creative learning and development: ideas and activities. By Raising Children Network. Preschoolers like to be spontaneous in their creative play, so it’s good to.
These and other findings are summarized in a new publication, “Adventure: The Value of Risk in Children's Play,” available through the Alliance at benjaminpohle.com The report’s overall message: Provide oversight but let children play freely and in adventuresome ways.
Facilitating and Supporting Childrens Play: Suggestions for Teachers; Facilitating and Supporting Childrens Play: Suggestions for Teachers Talk about what the children are doing or ask questions to support and extend their play.
Teacher: “You are washing that baby. I support facilitating and supporting children's play %, It lets. In the beginning children often play by their own Language is an important part of games with rules as children explain, question and negotiate the rules.
Rules are often an important part of pretend play where children negotiate rules about See Appendix 1 for examples of resources that can be used to support these different types of.
Different types of play like social play, constructive play, and games with rules will help build a stronger relationship with your child. Constructive play is when children manipulate their environment to create things. This type of play occurs when children build towers and cities with blocks, play in the sand, construct contraptions on.
Play Resources. Here are links to some other national not-for-profit organizations that focus chiefly or significantly on supporting and promoting the importance of play in learning and human development.
The Alliance for Childhood promotes policies and practices that support children’s healthy development, love of learning, and joy in.