Theories Landscapes excels in designing and building beautiful natural playgrounds which let children’s minds roam free and their creative run wild. This aspect of playground design is more of an art than a science, after all every Colchester school or park we work on has a different base of end users, each with their own ideas about what will be fun to use. That’s why we’re always sounding out children, their parents and teachers to find out what kinds of school playground equipment and themes they’d like to see implemented.
From climbing frames for those with boundless energy, through to stages for the artistic and serene natural areas for those who enjoy some quiet introspection between lessons, we try and cater to everyone. On this page, we’ve taken a look at how playground design can encourage creative play. If you’d like to discuss your ideas for bespoke school playground equipment, or hear more about existing natural playgrounds we’ve delivered around Colchester and how they can inspire your own project, pick up the phone and call 07904 901 770.
Active & Imaginative Play – They needn’t be separated! By using school playground equipment like themed climbing frames which look like pirate ships, space ships or something entirely different – you can encourage children to both stretch their legs and expand their mines. In fact, studies show that physical activity can boost levels of creativity, so we definitely recommend that Colchester clients consider how the two can be joined together.
Role-play – Earlier we briefly mentioned stages. These are great for letting children come up with stories and tell them to their classmates, and encourage collaborative creative fun. There’s also multi-play units, school playground equipment which often has a theme and numerous ways to interact. These also encourage children to get into character and role-play.
But why is role-play so important? Well, it not only encourages use of the imagination, but it helps us develop empathy for others and even figure out what we might one day want to be doing. We’re sure many teachers around Colchester know how many former pupils have gone from running around natural playgrounds, pretending to be a policeman, fireman or doctor – only to have gone on to become a real one!
Play Panels – There’s also school playground equipment which can be manipulated in an artistic way. For example, arts and crafts panels which let budding artists hone their craft. They allow for a freedom of expression which encourages independent thought and the development of ideas accumulated in previous lessons. These are often like whiteboards, and can be wiped clean once playtime is over.
Music – Another distinct form of creativity is musical expression. This can be accommodated for through playground design, with musical panels and similar instruments which can be played by one or more children. In the latter case, it brings a collaborative element and sees them work on rhythm and timing. Some Colchester clients are concerned about the noise this kind of school playground equipment can produce, but we assure you that manufacturers keep it audible, but nothing rivalling the chaotic hubbub that erupts every break time!
So when considering the different types of school playground equipment desired for a playground design project in Colchester, we urge stakeholders to think outside of the box and beyond simple climbing frames and swings. Children have different needs, and by combining physical and imaginative play within our natural playgrounds, you’ll be sure to reach as many as possible and create something that brings boundless joy to their lives.