Stevenage schools choose DNA Play to handle their playground design and build because they realise how important natural playgrounds can be to a child’s development. However, many educational and public institutions still take a rather blasé approach to the planning process, arbitrarily selecting school playground equipment (climbing frames, swings, see-saw, done) without consulting children, parents and key stakeholders. This approach often means they invest significant sums in a playscape that drastically falls short of its potential.
So on this page, for prospective clients around Stevenage who have yet to see why it’s so important to go about the playground design process in a methodical, caring manner, we’ve run through some of the reasons why natural playgrounds are such an important aspect of a child’s growth and development. We hope it will drive home the importance of taking a thoughtful, measured approach to playground design – something DNA Play specialises in.
Available to All
While not every child in Stevenage has access to a garden, every child should be able to stretch their legs in nearby natural playgrounds, whether they be in a public park or their local school. Quality playground design can offer up a wonderful environment to play and socialise, irrespective of socio-economic factors and privilege.
Time Spent Playing
Did you know that the average child spends over 1500 hours of their time within a playground / playing on school playground equipment? That’s a lot of time! This is why it’s so important that the space be fit for purpose. What purpose, you might ask? Mental, physical and social development. From climbing frames to develop strength and agility, to seating for social interaction and relationship building with their fellow Stevenage students.
Before we get round to actually building our natural playgrounds, we take time to launch a thorough playground design consultation. Here, we look to speak to the children themselves, to find out exactly what they’re looking for – whether this be the plants they’d like integrated, or whether climbing frames / similar school playground equipment will prove popular. By involving them in this process, we treat them as adults and grant them a certain sense of responsibility. The more children think “these are our natural playgrounds”, the more enjoyment they get out of them, and the more respect they treat them with.
Often, it’s not just the children that make use of natural playgrounds, it’s adults too! As such, we see them as some of Stevenage’s most valuable community assets, space in which child and adult alike can meet and chat. A lot of school playground equipment, like sheltered areas, are built with this in mind. So when the rain starts to fall at 3pm, parents can shelter themselves from the elements!