Just shut your eyes for a moment and think of a time and place you were “playing” as a child. The vast majority of us that are the wrong side of 30 years old will be recalling an outdoor experience. Quite often that experience involved scabbed knees or elbows from some sort of outside misadventure. The pain associated with those mishaps paled into insignificance compared with the agony of your mum or dad splashing on the antiseptic!!
What will the up and coming generation remember about play when they are over thirty? Will it be an outdoor experience or something screen-based provided by Sony, Microsoft, Google or Nintendo? As entertaining as screen based play can be, we all instinctively know there has to be a time when the swipe screens get put down in preference for some fresh air in our lungs, some stretching of our muscles, the warmth of the sun on our skin, blood coursing through our veins and taking in the sights, smells and sounds of nature.
Culture has changed and none of us would expect children to be unsupervised, out and about roaming the countryside from dusk till dawn as the older generations recall. That doesn’t mean this generation of kids can’t get a nature fix and climb trees, build camps, hide in dens, balance on logs, swing on a rope etc. And it’s not just a nature fix. Play is important for us in so many ways. It develops our creative side, it’s good for building our social skills and it’s an important learning experience. A five year old can be told wet wood is slippery until you’re blue in the face, but they only really learn that wet wood is slippery when they find out for themselves and they’re nursing a bruised bum or elbow. It’s these learnings that enable us to see potential hazards as we live our lives. For this reason we promote something called Risk Benefit Assessment. It’s an endorsed approach that allows us to build play structures with an element of risk and learning experiences.
We can help you design a meaningful natural playground or an extensive natural play trail. Whether you want something fun in your garden or an engaging experience that covers a few miles through the countryside, we can help. We can offer you something more engaging than the obvious brightly painted swings, slides and rope-bridges. Something that looks and feels natural, offering more to the senses whilst stimulating imagination and creativity. And it’s not just for kids. You’re never too old to play!!
We believe in building play structures from robust chunky natural materials in such a way that they stimulate imagination and creativity as well as offering children an opportunity to be brave, pushing their limits a little. As early advocates of Natural Play we have great experience in devising individual structures, playgrounds and play trails that have been widely enjoyed by the young and the young at heart. It really isn’t uncommon to see thirty and forty something mums and dads balancing, building dens and jumping around. Who really “grows up”?
During the discussion/planning phase we can help you decide what it is you want your play offer to provide. The style/theme, the approach, the risk assessment, or hopefully risk benefit assessment, and the due diligence/liability that goes with that. We can help with the installation, paperwork and the ongoing monitoring if necessary.
We are passionate about Natural Play and believe all children should be getting a bit of dirt under their fingernails from time to time. We would be delighted to help.