The school playground is more than just an area where students can exert energy; it’s a platform for encouraging the growth and development of life skills and cognitive development. With the correct design and the right school play equipment, playgrounds have the ability to hugely impact student wellbeing and learning capacity, even when pupils are back in the classroom.
Here at Kompan, we are continually researching the impact of play on learning and child development, striving to perfect our school playground equipment and create the most exceptional products possible. Through this research, we have been able to collect data on exactly how school playgrounds affect our children and in turn, how playgrounds affect classroom learning.
At the heart of effective classroom learning is a child’s understanding that they can learn even if they don’t understand how to do something straight away. A well-designed school playground helps to encourage this by presenting young people with challenges that they can overcome by themselves, in a safe and comfortable environment.
The classroom presents a high-pressure atmosphere, where children are consistently being mentally pushed and must remain focused. This can make it difficult for students to grow in confidence and address challenges. However, on the flip side, the school playground is one of the only school locations where children can fully relax and be themselves. Presenting young minds with a challenge in this situation then giving them the time to succeed in achieving it helps them to understand what they are capable of - knowledge which makes them much more receptive when challenged in the classroom.
Confidence and a can-do attitude are extremely difficult to teach, but a good school playground offers a brilliant start.
Adults and children alike tend to feel uneasy when they don’t understand a situation. This is only amplified if what they are feeling unsure about is another person, simply because humans are unpredictable. Naturally, we seek companionship; most people do their best to avoid conflict and want people to like them.
In the classroom, children spend lots of time interacting with others. Whether it is working on group projects or conversing with the teacher and asking questions, social skills can make this aspect of learning easier - and school playgrounds can provide this. Effective playgrounds provide ample space for meeting points where students can come together, converse and engage with one other. With every conversation, children will learn more about body language, empathy, and how to interact with others which ultimately benefits them in the classroom environment.
School play equipment doesn’t just need to be about physical challenges; an effective playground will also include brain teasers and puzzles to help children develop cognitively. The type of problem-solving is obviously dependent on the particular age group but the benefits are the same. By promoting cognitive development and problem-solving in the playground, it becomes easier to translate these skills across to the classroom.
Puzzles and problem-solving teach a methodical approach to challenges, encouraging children to practice trial-and-error as well as the effective application of knowledge. These are skills that will be invaluable throughout their school life and beyond.
In addition to the skills needed to supplement classroom learning, it’s important for children to enjoy education. Learning something new shouldn’t feel onerous, it should be interesting and exciting. To achieve this, allowing and encouraging children to be creative and let their imagination run free is a big part of the education process.
School playgrounds are a brilliant way to provide children with a platform to express themselves in an educational setting. By using their imagination, creating games and learning at the same time, children begin to understand how learning and trying new things can be enjoyable. Given the right type of task, this enthusiasm can easily be translated across to the classroom.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to school playgrounds and their benefits for children. However, it’s important to remember that in order to reap these rewards, the playground must be expertly designed, featuring age-appropriate, exceptional quality school play equipment.
Kompan offers a bespoke school playground design service and play equipment of unrivalled quality. Backed by scientific research, our equipment is designed to help children grow and develop both cognitively and physically, teaching life skills and enabling improved classroom learning in the process. Browse our range of school playground equipment today or get in touch with us if you have any questions.