Saturday, 1 May 2010

Let there be play.....

Following on from my commencement of studying teaching last year (currently on hold due to IVF) I've been doing lots of reading and become really interested in effective play for Noah and the other children I share my days with.  I'm not taking it too seriously but it mostly already fits in with ideas I had about how I wanted to raise Noah and the kinds of activities I wanted us to share as a family.

We already spend such a large amount of time outdoors in many different environments (beach, park, camping, gardening, bike riding).  We try to keep TV time to a limit and we provide him with healthy food 99% of the time.  We feel really strongly about these issues especially as we are bringing our child into an era filled with sedentary technology.

There are so many wonderful experiences to share with your children but I really think time spent in a good playground is such a simple pleasure with so many great outcomes.

Time in the playground gives children the chance to gain mastery over new physical skills, develop coordination, strength and flexibility.  Being able to learn a new skill gives them self confidence and pride in themselves.

The social interactions in the park are important too - kids learn how to wait and take turns, share, make friends and co-operate.  These skills that children develop on the playground become lifelong skill sets that are carried forward into their adulthood.

Independent research concludes that playgrounds are among the most important environments for children outside the home. Most forms of play are essential for healthy development, but free, spontaneous play—the kind that occurs on playgrounds—is the most beneficial type of play.

Best of all it's really fun and it tires them out so they are easier to handle at home for tired Mummies!!

The park is nice for parents too - it often allows us to meet other parents or to relax and have a coffee while supervising our kids. Obviously depending on age and temperament some kids need more supervision than others.  I always scout out a new playground for potential hazards or fall zones so I know how to manage Noah;s play safety.

You can look HERE to find information about wonderful playgrounds around WA and best of all it lets you know where nearby you can buy a coffee.  If you are not in WA I'm sure you can find something similar for your area or if not why not get one started.

Last Tuesday on the final day of our four day weekend we headed with Noah and Pa and cousin Finn to Rotary Park (I think it's actually officially called Opportunity Playspace).  It's a relatively new facility in Wanneroo (Cnr Church Street and Scenic Drive - Perth ), It is enormous and full of such perfectly planned playspaces which cater to all ages and abilities. It is shaded naturally by beautiful big trees and nestled in lovely native gardens. It is to the east side of Joondalup Lake so there are also opportunities to get away from structured play and explore the wetland habitat.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful pictures! Noah is absolutely adorable, and I really like what you said about playgrounds... some of my best memories are being on a playground as a little kid. It's so important for kids to be OUTSIDE and interacting!


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