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What is a playscape?
In today’s times, there are too many indoor distractions tempting children to remain at home. The television, the internet and toys bought by zealous parents are encouraging children to stay at home. The consequence is that children are becoming obese, do not take part in physical activities and lose their ability to ask questions out of curiosity.
Fortunately, the playscape alternative is here to stay. A playscape is essentially an area that is naturally landscaped and inspires children to leave the house and play within a natural environment. Children get to see natural trails, forest like growth of shrubs, trees and caves. These allow children to play freely and without any inhibitions. It encourages curiosity, initiates the sense of wonder in them and that in turn prompts them to ask questions.
Parents are also more comfortable with such a structured, well planned playscape area as they know it is planned and executed by landscape architects. There is no danger of children meeting with any accidents due to traffic or encountering strangers. The children are thus transported away from a sedentary life to one that is a healthy alternative.
This year in 2018. The playscape idea is gaining ground in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and across India with more and more childcare centers, schools showing inclination to make their outdoor play areas “greener” and attractive for children to play. The thrust is on adding more and more natural features to such playscape areas.
Playscape vs playground
It has been accepted that if healthy development of the child has to take place at all levels of physical, mental and social, then the child has to be able to play with abandon in the formative years. Play activities encourages muscle coordination, confidence and balance enabling children to maintain physical fitness.
While traditional playgrounds have over the years fulfilled this requirement of space for children to play, the new concept of playscape is taking it to the next level. Typically the conventional playground would have equipment made of metal, plastic and consist of monkey bars, swings, seesaws and the like. Children are more likely to get injured playing at such grounds. There is very little scope for designers to increase safety parameters by decreasing the height as that would render the whole idea boring.
However, playscape areas created out of natural elements like shrubs, stones, water, grass present a refreshing alternative. Here children get the space to play safely as they can run and manipulate things that are not dangerous to them. Children are able to use the materials creatively to make new objects. The trails and wooden tree houses are wonderful attractions for children.
These playscape areas promote appreciation of nature among children. They begin to learn about environment and develop problem solving as well as social skills.
Advantages of Playscape
The grand expanse of nature is such that it inspires creativity, abandonment and curiosity. Children in particular will benefit spending and playing in a natural environment that has greenery, trails, and caves and so on. Playscape is a concept that enables children to experience this sort of a natural play area which will improve their motor and sensory development stages tremendously.
Playscape is an area that is created using natural grass and other such material that presents a feel of total greenery. The experiences children would enjoy playing in such areas cannot be matched in normal classrooms, homes or traditional play grounds. The playscape area promotes creativity, curiosity as children are able to discover new things found among the natural surroundings and play with them.
Studies have indicated that children who are exposed to playscape environments show better motor skills. The physical and cognitive development in children is also faster. A diverse landscape challenges the fitness of children and they learn how to surmount obstacles in a fun filled manner. Children have been found to prefer playscape to the equipment found in traditional playgrounds.
The abundance of loose materials found in a playscape enables children to think creatively on how to make use of those materials. They start innovating and gain in confidence when they are able to create new things.
A natural playscape is an area that has a variety of natural components such as trees, mud pathways, caves, water bodies, plants and greenery duly designed to function as a play area for children. The area could have open as well as wooded sections within it. The idea is to expose children to an environment that is totally different to their classroom or traditional play ground.
Very often, since the area would have a water body, there would be sand or rocks beside it. There could also be a couple of mini hills with trails that wind up to these hills. There would be some movable objects for children to manipulate and make use of for some construction work. These may be a mix of prefabricated and natural ones. The prefabricated items range from buckets to plastic piping, fabric, strings and spades. The natural items would include twigs, logs, fallen leaves, sand and the like. All of these are very useful to promote creativity and curiosity within children so as to encourage them to use these items.
The natural playscape can also have a tree house, a bridge, tables, musical instruments made out of wood. Children should get the feeling that they are among nature in its beauty and freshness.
The design of a playscape area should be such that it stimulates imagination and creativity within the children. They should feel they are outside the confines of their homes, classrooms and usual play areas and are at a place that has been made only for them. The design should include a number of wooden items like a tree house, bridges, tents and other shelters. These would encourage children to build their own, making use of the loose material within the play scape area. That is because; many children often indulge in “Let’s Pretend” games where the characters make use of objects and natural surroundings to enact situations.
The playscape design should definitely not be crowded with too many landscaped structures. There should be sufficient space for roll down hills, tunnels, boulders, trails so that children are kept physically active. This will help in honing their motor skills. There has to be plants in the garden area that will attract insects and other such creatures. Children living in cities often do not get to see them and therefore should have access to such horticulture.
The design of the play scape area has to be aesthetic and it should appear as natural as possible with very few prefabricated items strewn about. Only then will children feel the difference between their normal playground the playscape area.
Playscape in early years
One of the fundamental requirements for robust child development is the activity of play. Apart from being a fun filled one, it enables the child to develop physical fitness through better motor and sensory skills. The child also develops social skills through team sport activities. The positive rub off of all this will also show in the academic performance of the child.
However, there is also the need to present the right infrastructure to the child for such play activities. The playscape concept is a novel one in that it allows children to get closer to nature and explore its wonders during their play activities. Traditional playgrounds with their artificial props are no longer attractive to children and do not serve to arouse their curiosity in the manner they should.
Playscape areas with emphasis being on creation of natural wood trails, grassy landscapes, water bodies and lot of natural items strewn around serve to stimulate creativity within the child during the formative years. The movable objects like sand, twigs, pebbles, fallen leaves and the like enable children to play with them, make objects using them.
Children in their pursuit to explore and discover more, learn social behavior skills and become better at problem solving.
if your question is how much does it cost to start an indoor playground in India, then you can call us.
We have launched many interesting Playcapes in India
We at Theo kids have been an active player in the development of the Playground / play scapes in India. We have specialized in total project management of creating recreational spaces that is a benchmark for others to follow in this industry.
We believe that the early formative years in a child’s life should be full of fun and learning.
We appreciate the role played so far by traditional play grounds but feel that children should get exposure to more of nature and its wonders.
We have developed a novel sensory design technique that helps engage all senses within a child. As leaders in the play ground industry, we through our landscape architects strive to present playscape spaces that would stimulate creativity in the child and make play activities highly rewarding for the child.
We can advice you as to what is the cost or how much does it cost to set up a soft play centre / playscape in india.
Besides this, We can also offer advice of information on cost and how to start a baby creche centre, corporate day care in India and start a profitable playgroup business in India.
We leverage upon our expertise in conceptualizing and completing projects on time. We have a wide range of product offering that is consistent with our tagline “Delivering Today’s Recreational Spaces”. Our superior customer service and construction abilities have enabled us to build a strong reputation of delivering very impressive design projects on time.
The recreational equipment we offer is not only creatively artful but long lasting and safe as well.
We offer consultancy services in playscape design, creating a natural playscape, backyard playscapes, playscapes playground equipment, budget, planning and equipments.