If you have ever been on any of the adventure playground equipment as an adult, you may wonder what it is about these areas that you used to enjoy. You can fall off the swings, the roundabouts make you dizzy to the point of throwing up and the slides are way too high and you go down way too fast. How on earth were you ever able to get excited about these things?
Kids Have no Fear
One of the most important reasons why kids love adventure playgrounds is that they haven’t yet developed a real sense of fear. Sure, they can be petrified of the Bogeyman and mummies in their closet, but they have no fear of any real dangers. In fact, when a baby is born, they have only two anxieties that they have been born with: the fear of dropping and the fear of raucous noises. All other fears are trained into them by us, as parents, and by experience.
Developing Themselves and the Sense of Adventure
One other thing that all kids have been born with is a sense of adventure. They are hungry for knowledge and they are incredibly selfish little beings. This means that what they want to learn first and foremost is what they can do and what they can experience, for themselves. Playgrounds offer them exactly that. Playgrounds encourage quite individualistic play, with the exception of the seesaw. However, you may see kids trying to find ways of operating a seesaw by themselves – I sure did when I was younger. The point is that they want to learn how their bodies can influence movement. They want to know just how something feels, how high they can go and how fast they can fall. Because they don’t understand the potential consequences – the no fear element described above – they will push themselves to ever further limits. This is the adventure they are looking for, the opportunity to pretend that they are a great explorer of the huge realm that is the playground.
Playgrounds have to be designed to allow children to develop this sense of adventure and learn about themselves. This is why a real adventure playground can be so much fun.
Pentagon Sport provide a range of adventure playground equipment for school across the UK.