How Modern Playgrounds Spark Creativity

Posted on: September 26, 2014

I am continuously (and pleasantly I must say!) surprised by new playgrounds and play areas. Some of them are so imaginative and fun they are almost more than just a playground.  This is great for inspiring and encouraging kids to use their imagination whilst playing.  Along with the benefits that exercising and using and developing a lot of their skills such as balance and coordination.  Any playground equipment which encourages unstructured play is fantastic, after all, playing is learning and the more there is around to simulate that the better. I’m a big fan of natural looking playgrounds, ones that cut out much of the metal and fencing and instead include timber, little hilly mounds, logs and big smooth boulders to play on. I think overall they give children a much more freeing experience, not feeling as though they are in playground environment but rather out in the wilderness exploring.

I understand that they can’t be quite as impressive and state of the art as the ones below but I think they are great!







The more creative the playground equipment is, the more creative it makes the child!


5 Responses to "How Modern Playgrounds Spark Creativity"

I would question this only to the degree that if you create the play area to be so specific in nature that it is the only thing the child can see it as, isn’t that stifling their imagination?

A “plain” playground can be a castle or a boat, a forest or a mountain range, because a child’s imagination makes it true. But if you make the playground a boat already, then it can’t be the castle or the forest or the mountain… it *is* a boat, no imagination required or really allowed.

Don’t get me wrong, those playgrounds look amazing, I just question whether that really frees a child’s imagination.

I completely agree that if anything is too prescribed it can stifle a child’s ability to develop their imagination. I have observed that imaginative children always ‘go off Piste’ and use the whole playground to play their imaginative games – often dismissing the playground equipment altogether, while children with less imagination need equipment as prompts. My son is a great example of this and has spent most of his time digging a hole in the playground using a stick – he was a little bit worried a few days ago because he was afraid that if he dug any more he would reach lava and imminent disaster would strike. Some of the playgrounds shown are extreme examples of playground design gone mad – I think that the designer probably enjoyed using their imagination to design them. Fortunately most playgrounds tend to have a good balance between specific equipment and natural play making it possible for children to use the space in any way they wish. Ultimately the best part of a playground are the other children and once there is interaction and they begin an adventure the most wonderful play can occur.

“he was a little bit worried a few days ago because he was afraid that if he dug any more he would reach lava and imminent disaster would strike.”

LOL is he a Minecraft player?

I think he has played it once but he does have a wicked imagination!

It’s so important to get the creative sparks going in children. A great post.

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September 2014

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