Playing outside is not just about letting off steam. It is a vital part of childhood that helps children develop physical strength, coordination and balance. Remember the playground just beside your home where you used to go every evening to play with your friends. Now a days every city in India is getting deprived of these facilities. The emergence of sports clubs can never overcome the absence of playground.
Playground provides opportunities for children to learn and develop:
- Social Skills – When they play with other children they learn to communicate, share, collaborate and empathies with others. After all, man is a social animal.
- Imagination and creativity – Outside play is often open-ended and children need to be creative about what and how games are played. This develops their mind resulting in better understanding and creativity.
- Thinking and problem solving skills –As children assess risks and tackle new challenges they learn about having a go, persistence and perseverance and the success those attributes can bring.
- Sense of help – As they master new skills and play with other children they improve their competence and confidence in their own physical and social abilities. A sense of responsibility is a must in their growing period.
- Self care skills – Managing physical and social challenges helps children to learn about keeping themselves safe.
To support these broad learning outcomes of playgrounds, play spaces should include areas for active, free, quiet, social, imaginative, creative, exploratory and natural play. Remember your own childhood – where was your favorite place to play?