Falling Down is Part of Growing Up
Summer now appears to be on the horizon and with plenty of strong spring sun everyone wants to be making the most of the garden and that includes outdoor play in all its guises. Clearly there are big benefits from spending time in the fresh air, with a word of caution to be liberal and frequent with the application of sun tan lotion!
For children today, the opportunities for freedom are now frequently constrained by a number of factors, including the amount of traffic on the roads, distance from a play park and general fears for child safety outside the home environment. This combined with the attraction of all the electronic games has meant many children not making the most of their gardens
Creative, active play is vital for healthy physical and mental development, and provision of suitable outdoor play equipment can provide a great stimulus for imaginative outdoor play. From the moment they can toddle, carefully chosen equipment will help children to climb, grip, balance slide and have fun.
As they grow, children are keen to discover more and invent games of their own, and by the age of three they will have moved off the equipment designed for babies and toddlers onto items that help them in the development of balance, co-ordination and spatial awareness.
At this stage alongside developing physical skills, social skills will be acquired as they imagine themselves on desert islands, in jungles, on a pirate ship or in a dragon’s den. These vital skills learnt from such an early age will give them confidence, independence, strength, encourage teamwork, teach them to share and provide hours of fun, whilst keeping them out of Mum’s way.
By about the age of six the children have stretched themselves both in mind and body and will be keen to move onto more challenging play which the provision of items such as rock walls, scramble nets and monkey bars will provide. At this stage, everyone will also be clamouring for a trampoline and the exercise provided here is physically very demanding and the fun value is terrific. Safe trampolining requires sensible behaviour and lessons at a sports centre are well worth the time and effort involved. It is important to recognise that whilst not recommended children will multibounce and the lighter child will be destabilized by the older one. Simple rules to keep them safe include insisting that they bounce at the edge (and with the provision of a safety net that is easily done), stopping bouncing the second someone falls over and bouncing up while the other person lands. Accidents will always happen but techniques learnt early on should mean you avoid the dreaded trip to A & E.
Under the current guidelines from the EU, the standard states that “Falling Down is part of Growing Up” and it is now accepted that bumps and bruises are part of normal play. One of the Extracts from EN Standards states that “Risk Taking is an essential feature of play provision and of all environments that children legitimately spend time playing”. Encountering and coping with acceptable risk is part of the stimulation, challenge and controlled learning that children need to prepare them for the demands of living in the 21st century. This change of approach is invaluable as it heralds a change that will see children being encouraged to try out new things, stretch themselves and work out how and what they can do - something we have been steered awayu from for too long.
Fortunately, with the plethora of items available, even the smallest garden can offer the opportunity to provide equipment such as a swing, slide, trampoline or climbing frame and at Adventure Zone we aim to have something to suit every budget and every garden.
We have spent over 15 years listening to our customers’ requests and feedback and are confident that we can help you select appropriate equipment for your family. Our one acre outdoor shop has a large number of climbing frames, swings, trampolines, sandpits and children’s furniture available for the family to play on and we have most products available for immediate despatch. Complemented by our shop on-line website featuring over 2000 products from all the leading suppliers, all the information you need is at your fingertips
With access to our experienced and skilled construction team (if needed) we aim to offer you the best service available – lets give our children Freedom to Play – visit Adventure Zone – a TP Centre of Excellence.