Sandpit playgrounds: Social and emotional value
More than just their physical and cognitive aspects of holistic value, sandpit playgrounds also offer social and emotional benefits. Read on for more insights on the issue.
As outlined in Part I: Holistic benefits of sandpit playgrounds, ‘holistic’ encompasses the physical, cognitive, social and emotional aspects of a child’s development. Here are the social and emotional advantages of the premise as a therapeutic tool for kids.
A happy and confident child!
At sandpit playgrounds, children and families are free to come and go which promotes social interactions. Young children will be able to learn pro-social skills like sharing, turn-taking, etc.
Sandpit playgrounds tap on young children’s emotional development as well. With social interactions in place, children are given the golden opportunity to build their self-confidence, esteem, sense of self, practice emotional regulation and temperament control. Such intangible character traits cannot be obtained from worksheets or assessment books.
Adding to the above mentioned benefits sandpit playgrounds have for young children, the time spent there promotes family bonding and quality time between parents and children.
In this day and age where our lives are technology-driven, and always occupied with work and other activities, we feel that winding down at sandpit playgrounds as a family is a wonderful idea to leading less stressful lives.
A child with resilience!
As many of us know and can recall, falling on sand is not comfortable and sometimes, we graze our knees. However, through this, children learn the art of falling and building resiliency in themselves.
Children learn from their mistakes or falls because of the consequences they have experienced. Many a times, parents rush to the sides of their children and immediately correct, shield or protect them. When children get to experience things for themselves, they are geared towards better reacting or acting appropriately the next time round.
In retrospect, today’s playgrounds with synthetic flooring provide padding in way which causes nothing to happen when children fall. This in turn affects them later in life when problem-solving and resiliency skills are needed. Nowadays, children have a tendency to make a huge fuss when problems arise, and we feel that this is solely due to the lack of exposure and parental dependence.
In conclusion, as it is, Singapore focuses too much on academics and our children are forced to go for tuition and enrichment classes. Though we have mentioned the intellectual benefits sandpit playgrounds provide, we would like to focus on play and imagination.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong cited in one of his previous National Day Rally speech that children should be given more opportunities to learn through play. Why play at sandpit playgrounds? Sandpit playgrounds bring children a step closer to experience the wonders of nature.
The natural environment is an enriched play and learning arena, children can indulge in experiences with nature that “induces curiosity and the use of imagination”. Friso believes that with your support as a parent and the right nutrition, your child can grow strong and healthy to allow them to experience the world outside together with you.
A school prepares children for society but nature is the best classroom for children. Discovering the joy of learning and exploring is as important as children knowing their ABCs.
We hope this article helped you grasp better the importance of social, cognitive, physical and emotional development in your child through sandpit playground activities.
This research piece was put together by Chan Cruz Ai Shan, Jamie Quek & Phanida Suwanarat of Wheelock College Undergraduate under the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Educational Studies and Leadership programme.