A rich play environment is:
- A varied and interesting physical environment that maximises the potential for socialising, creativity, resourcefulness and challenge.
- A place where children feel free to play in their own way, on their own terms.
Play provision can include:
- The local play area
- Play centres
- Staffed adventure playgrounds
- Out of school childcare
- Play schemes
Quality play provision offers all children and young people the opportunity to freely interact with or experience the following:
- Other children and young people
- The natural world
- Loose parts
- The 4 elements – earth, air, fire and water
- Challenge and uncertainty
- Changing identity
- Rough and tumble
- The senses
Play and Challenge
‘Better a broken bone than a broken spirit’ – Lady Allen of Hurtwood
Play provides varied opportunities which are unpredictable and risky. The risks and challenges provide rich opportunities for learning, problem solving and developing social competence. Children need to take risks in play as it allows them to test their limits for physical, intellectual and emotional development.
Risky play opportunities introduce excitement and challenge for children to test their skills and try new activities. If adults deny children opportunities for worthwhile, positive risks, they also prevent children from developing the decision-making skills necessary to make accurate risk judgements.
Ideas and Games
Traditional Playground Games by Thérèse Hoyle