The more I learn about the importance of play and its many benefits, the more I wonder why it is relatively scarce in everyday life. Even as a staunch advocate for play, in my life it accounts for only a few minutes out of each day. It’s easy to see the same paucity of play in friends, schools, and workplaces. If you agree with my observation that the presence of play in our lives seems to be inversely related to its value, then this is something we need to explore further.
The study of early childhood education has produced some extraordinary findings as of late. Many tenets of early childhood that we previously just knew or had a gut-level feeling for, now have research to confirm these beliefs; e.g., reading aloud to young children is good for them. Another gut-level tenet of education is that children need to have mastered self-control in order to be successful in school.
Different play structures on the playground engage children in different ways, whether it engages their imagination or their intellect. Well-arranged play environments should enhance children’s development by integrating learning and play in a way that’s fun but also boosts development. Here is a rundown of a few types of play and play structures and how they contribute to different experiences for children.