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Preparing Outdoor Play Areas
Preparing Outdoor Play Areas
The seasons of spring and summer brings in the smell of fresh cut grass and new leaves, making it that perfect time of the month to venture out of your homes and bask in the greenery that is growing right in your own backyard. If there is one another person that will enjoy the outdoor environment a lot more than you do, it would have to be your child. After being trapped playing in their rooms during the cold winter months, that time of the year has finally come for them to get those muscles working and those imaginations soaring. Outdoor spaces are the best places for a child to do practically whatever he pleases. The outdoor is a very large playground that is more than an avenue to run, jump, and hide; it can also be a place to explore the natural world and discover the hidden treasures that nature has to offer.
Different Types of Play
Equipping your outdoors for this time of the year is important to ensure that you child has a space where he can develop his social, physical, emotional, and cognitive skills. When you are designing such an environment, space is of the essence. You have to make sure that it will have areas that you child can play in different ways.
There is a need for children to be placed in groups with children of their age as this will teach them how to get along with others and respect each other’s space. By socializing, they are able to realize and develop their own style of interacting and relating with different people and various situations but at their own level.
This type of play is very similar to social play and can therefore be integrated, although it would be best to keep an avenue where the main focus is emotions. Self-esteem is the main focus in such an area along with coping strategies to deal with their own feelings and with others. Doing outdoor projects such as building a garden and flower space, painting pottery and completing challenging tasks are all self-esteem builders.
An area that is dedicated for physical play will give the child opportunities to exercise and, in the process, develop their fine and gross motor skills. This will also be a good area to expel those pent up energies of a hyperactive child. Unhindered play areas where kids can just run, play kick-ball, do flips and somersaults or just lay in the grass is great for learning their bodies and just move those arms and legs!
Self-expression is the main theme in this area of the outdoor environment. Giving them the chance to express themselves comes in a variety of ways. Whatever these methods are, the most important thing is that the child is given the freedom to do whatever he pleases. Setting up large refrigerator boxes or other creative play materials will facilitate the creativity. A sandbox with lots of buckets and shovels or some body paint or large sheets of paper and colorful finger paint can be the best accessories for spurring those creative juices in your little Picasso’s.
That area that allows cognitive play will allow a child to develop their problem-solving skills. Although this kind of play is better perceived as something that should be done in the confines of a classroom, a child is still able to develop this in outdoor areas. By taking those classroom lessons outside, physics can be taught with a ball and slope, chemistry can be learned by some simple ‘volcano’ ingredients and biology and anthropology suddenly got more interesting when shovels and bugs are involved.
When planning an outdoor environment, you need to have a good idea on how every area will be presented. Quiet areas are important to give children time to relax and think with smaller groups of children or on their own. On the other hand, an active area for boisterous play is just as essential to allow the child to move and get those muscles and joints moving you have to make sure that you situate them in a way that neither one of them will disrupt the other once the playing ensues.
With the varied areas that you need to take into account in the design of your summer outdoor environment, you might think that you would probably need a space that is much bigger than your backyard. However, this is not always the case. This is because you can always cross these areas over. All the play areas, no matter how diverse they all may seem, can actually be intertwined and made to support one another in the promotion of the development of the child. Remember that these areas are more than just avenues for playing; they also give help in the areas of development of a young mind.
Active and Quiet Areas
The mood of a child can sometimes be too erratic and ever-changing that you might find it hard to figure out what they are currently in the mood for. This holds true in their selection of the kinds of activities that they would want to immerse themselves for the day, or even for the hour. Because of such unpredictability, you need to have the faculties that will readily cater to the needs you child for that particular time.
Think about the varied feelings and moods that you experience all throughout the day. Do you sometimes feel that you are too drained that you hardly feel anything? And are there times that you would want to get involved into something fun and exciting? If you go through these emotions in only a day’s time (as with any other person), then you are not far from experiencing and – hopefully – understanding the various moods that children go through in a single day.
What you need to do is create an environment where they will feel comfortable being in, no matter what their mood is. You need to be able to create areas where a child can work and play in solitude and another avenue where he can participate and perform in a group work. You also have to allocate a spot where your child can relax in peace as well as a place where he can enjoy and join in the hustle and bustle of activity with his peers.
The Furniture You Need for Your Child’s Play Areas
Kids, just like adults, need places to be comfortable in while doing the things they love to do. Of course, primary on their list of things to do is playing. As such, little ones can benefit from attractive and functional furniture as they go about fulfilling their need for free play.
There are different kinds of furniture to choose from. Your objective is only to find safe and interesting pieces to enhance the experience of your child. With seating options ranging from chairs to couches, you can guarantee that your kid’s time out playing is as enjoyable as ever. My Urban Child offers lots of choices for your kid’s needs. As such, you have lots of options regarding the furniture to equip the play areas of your home.
One of the interesting pieces you can put in the outdoor play area is the Context Furniture Truss Kids Chair. This chair is part of the Truss Collection by Scott Klinker. The play area will certainly look great with the bright color and the trendy design of the piece. The natural wood made of birch multi-ply and plastic laminate of this item can withstand outdoor weather. This is perfect for having furniture that can last a long time. For group play dates, the play are can sure benefit from the Context Furniture Truss Museum Bench. The kids will surely love to catch their breath after an active time at play. The natural wood is covered with plastic laminate for added durability. It comes with three different colors. To keep the area alive with colors, you can also put in some colorful furniture pieces. You can do this with the Emeco 111 Navy Chair by Emeco. Children will appreciate the color palette inspired by the natural colors of the Earth. What’s more? As they enjoy their time outdoors, the adults will love that it is made from 111 recycled plastic bottles. The space can also get a facelift from the Emeco Navy Arm Chair. This aluminum chair is one durable hunk of furniture. Plus, the chairs are simple yet functional. The little ones will surely enjoy resting after their rambunctious roughhousing. If you want something that is industrial but with a twist, you might also want to put a Emeco Nine-0 3 Bar Back Stacking Chair. The all-aluminum frame complements the different back designs of the seats. To cap a busy day of play, kids can lounge on the Jennifer Delonge Ava Child Sofa in Basic Linen by Jennifer Delonge. Though you cannot put it outdoors, you can place it in the indoor playroom. A sofa to call their own...as stylish as yours! The Ava now comes in a child-size sofa. This modern little sofa is perfect for their bedroom as well as their playroom. You can choose from microsuede, vintage fabrics or cotton.