There are many features of adventure playgrounds that make them stand apart from the usual, modern play areas. From being able to build forts to even being able to set their own fires, children are provided with a variety of activities to freely explore and interact with objects on their own. This liberty that children are granted in adventure playgrounds is cited by supporters as a main reason why they are so advantageous since they effectively allow children to develop a sense of self-confidence, self-reliance, and problem-solving in ways that traditional playgrounds just don't offer. With how much the world has changed in the past century, the skills that these playgrounds help to develop and reinforce are becoming more critical for success in modern society. While there are people who perceive these adventure playgrounds to be a threat to the physical health of children, the fact that these environments are heavily surveillance for dangers and aid in the development of children so well is why they are so important and so necessary.
In today’s complex world where there is more emphasis placed on self-reliance, problem-solving, and working with others to accomplish various tasks, the need for more adventure playgrounds becomes all the more justified. The unorthodox approach that adventure playgrounds take to allow children to have fun is what sets them apart from modern playgrounds, and is also a key reason why they are so effective. This approach, a combination of loose guidelines and supplying children with unique objects to interact with, has proven to be immensely beneficial to the development of children. One of the key features of adventure playgrounds that stand out is the ability for children to make their own fires. Even though this may seem perilous to give kids such a hazardous ability, the opportunity for kids to make fires is a social experience to sit around with friends, and make friends; it can be a cooperative experience where everyone has jobs. This environment that adventure playgrounds strive to facilitate helps create a sense of community and teamwork where everyone has their own roles. Because such unique and team-oriented activities are offered at adventure playgrounds, there is a clear benefit that these playgrounds have over the usual, modern playgrounds that lack these structural activities.
To further illustrate the practical benefits of adventure playgrounds, a 2011 university experiment that observed what would happen if all playground rules were suspended found that there was less naughtiness and bullying – because the kids were too busy and engaged to want to cause trouble. The complete lack of guidelines for adventure playgrounds helps to create an environment where children are strongly encouraged to pursue the offered activities. Without any confinement by normal playground rules and expectations, it becomes apparent that the loose regulation of adventure playgrounds is a main factor that helps children become more engaged and interactive. Therefore, the unique environment that adventure playgrounds promote helps children become more engaged with the activities, subsequently helping to develop many important skills for the future.
Over the past century, the world has gone through immense changes. Skills that adventure playgrounds can help develop are diminishing due to a cultural shift to a more comfortable life where people are becoming more complacent with where they are in life. In a 2011 paper, educational psychologist Kyung-Hee Kim notes that in the past decade, American children have become less emotionally expressive, less energetic, less talkative and verbally expressive, and less likely to see things from a different angle. This ‘creativity crisis’ that Kim analyzes highlights a huge issue in the country where children are becoming less willing and capable of expressing their feelings, ideas and possessing the ability to formulate their own unique perspectives. Because a normal, modern playground doesn’t encourage children to develop these invaluable skills in the same and effective manner as adventure playgrounds do, it becomes clear that the more interactive and open environment of adventure playgrounds is a more effective solution to this issue.
Moreover, to illustrate the reasoning behind adventure playgrounds, Lady Marjory Allen, a landscape architect and children’s advocate, says that the idea was that kids should face what to them seem like ‘really dangerous risks’ and then conquer them alone. That is what builds confidence. This driving motivation/reasoning behind the establishment of adventure playgrounds is crucial to understanding why they are so beneficial to a child’s development. By allowing children to freely explore the environment on their own and finding out for themselves how to deal with various scenarios including risks, they will be able to learn much more effectively on their own, rather than being hindered by rules and expectations of them.
Fundamentally, adventure playgrounds are a way of allowing and encouraging children to not only be creative with what they are given, but also to explore the environment around them and work with others to accomplish various tasks. In this process, children can develop many skills and learn at their own healthy pace, demonstrating how valuable adventure playgrounds truly are. The proven benefits and lessons that adventure playgrounds can teach are invaluable to a child’s development. Not only do they provide an environment to facilitate the development of self-confidence and self-reliance in children, but they also teach various indispensable lessons that are crucial for successful integration into society. These skills and lessons are fundamentally unable to be replicated by modern playgrounds because of the lack of unique activities, interaction, and freedom that they offer or promote in comparison to adventure playgrounds. With adventure playgrounds though, not only are children encouraged to develop these skills, but they are put in an ideal environment that allows them to freely explore and interact with objects and others without any worry about adhering to normal guidelines that confine these opportunities. Ultimately, adventure playgrounds enable children to flourish and develop whom they are without limiting what they do. The vast amount of opportunities and activities offered by these playgrounds are what makes them so valuable and is a key reason why they are so important and so necessary.