PLAYING AND LEARNING GO HAND IN HAND
Playing promotes learning by stimulating the entire body and leaving a memory of the learning experience in the nervous system. The physical activity involved in playing boosts memory and teaches creative thinking.
“Playing is a way for children to process and apply what they have learnt previously. Playing is about using your imagination and learning to understand patterns and causality. Playing is an arena for creative thinking, for stepping outside of routines and coming up with new solutions”, says learning researcher and Adjunct Professor Pirkko Siklander from the University of Oulu.
A dream playground is one that has something for everyone
In the world of playgrounds, versatility is king. An optimal playground design provides stimuli for different activities, different kinds of users and different ways of thinking. Technology enables building a new generation of playgrounds with completely new dimensions. Digital components can be designed to give children feedback on their progress or tips for taking their game to the next level. Siklander believes that a great playground design also requires input from the true experts: children.
“Children should ideally be consulted on playground designs. Giving children a say makes them more likely to ultimately use the playground, and the design process itself can also be a learning experience and an opportunity for children to use their imagination.”