Summer is the perfect time to get outside with your children and get active. You can take them for walks, explore your local parks and forests, and seek out the best playgrounds around.
Whenever I suggest we go to our local playground the boys scream with joy. They love it.
A playground is great fun for the children, they have a chance to run around and play, but at the same time they're learning too.
I love to see LP trying out the different equipment available at the various playgrounds in our surrounding areas. He goes from swings to roundabouts to climbing frames trying out everything and pushing himself to be brave as he climbs to new heights.
BP has never been much of a climber but these days he has more confidence and is happy to climb and swing whenever he finds a playground big enough. Although he's 11 sometimes he loves to run around and enjoy just being a child.
Learning while playing
A few days ago we went for a lovely walk in Wollaton Park where they have a great playground. It has swings, roundabouts, and climbing frames, as well as a zip wire. The boys both love the zip wire, they cling to the swing as they race along the wire. I think it's a great way for them to learn. As they speed along the wire and hit the marker at the end they know that they'll swing and slide back to the middle of the wire. They're learning about the movement of things.
BP learning about centrifugal force.
The climbing frames are great for pushing boundaries and scaring themselves. They love climbing but LP tends to get scared the higher he climbs and still needs his dad around as security against a fall. BP loves showing off his climbing skills and will try to show his brother how to make particular moves to get further up.
BP loves telling his brother what to do.
We've also been teaching LP about swings and how to use them if you don't have someone to push you. It's been slow going but I think he finally got it when we visited the park a few days ago. He managed to swing himself on the swing for around 10 minutes and really enjoyed it. He still needs reminding when to put his feet forward but he's getting there slowly.
Playgrounds have wonderful hidden educational benefits, I always find the hidden learning is the best. The children are learning about momentum and physics and all kinds of different things while they're having real fun. When they climb on a rope wall they know it will swing about because it's not solid, like wood, and when they step onto the wooden frame at the top they know they're more secure.
BP learning about growing!!
Playgrounds in Schools
The whole learning thing makes me think it's great when a school gets a brand new playground. With climbing frames and slides, and new ways to explore the outdoors the children get to have a brilliant learning experience while having fun at school.
I'll be suggesting to LP's school that they take a look at Infinite Playgrounds, who offer a consultancy to design your playground for you. On their website they have a great list photos of the playgrounds they've already done and there's even one in Nottingham! I'm too scared to show it to the boys because I think they'll be disappointed that their school doesn't have one!
While I was browsing on the Infinite Playgrounds site I also noticed that they do canopies too. The canopies are fun and colourful and offer some shade from the sun in the summer months. This means the children could spend more time outside learning.
If I had the space (and money) I'd have a canopy and playground installed at home for the boys.