National Play Day is being celebrated across Britain today. The annual event now in it’s 27th year was set up to celebrate the power of play for all ages and abilities. The aim is not only to have a day of fun and adventure but also highlight how important play is in the development of young people especially at school.
Coinciding with today’s events is the release of a report from Tim Gill “A review of the wider impact of play initiatives”. Whilst Gill focuses largely on outdoor play there is much to learn about what goes on inside the classroom or home too.
Playing leads to a wide range of interconnected beneficial outcomes for children. These include:
Cognitive development (including language skills, problem solving and independent learning skills, self-efficacy, gaining perspective, representational skills, memory and creativity)
Physical health and development (including physiological, cardiovascular and fine and gross motor skills development as well as increased physical activity);
Mental health, happiness and emotional well-being (including building confidence, improved child- parent attachments, coping with stress, tackling anxieties and phobias, aiding recovery in therapeutic contexts, and alleviating the symptoms of ADHD for some children);
Social development (including working with others, sharing, negotiating and appreciating others’ points of view);
Risk management and resilience through experiencing and responding to unexpected, challenging situations.
At 4D, our work started from den making and creating immersive spaces out of parachutes and umbrellas! The aim has always been to take young people on journey, setting them challenges, exploring new ideas and creativity. Light, sound and projection has taken the initial den making ideas to the next level but is still something we encourage! Our co-founder and creative director Cathy Cross has been blogging some of her recent den making adventures here which is well worth a read.
We’ve seen how immersing young people in new experiences has improved language skills, encouraged participation and inspired peer to peer learning. Come and explore our case studies page to find out more.
Our design team would love to look at how we could work you to install a new creative classroom in your school, ready to immerse your pupils in their learning and develop new approaches to teaching. All of our immersive spaces come with a full training package so your staff are able to creatively use this new tool to get the very best from every pupil at your school. To find out more just call our office on 0844 414 2595 or email the team via our contact page.
Read more about Play Day at their website here or this news story from the Telegraph contains lots of further information.