Friday, 17 June 2016

Creating quiet spaces.


In a noisy and busy playground I think it is very important to provide areas within the space where children can retreat to when they need to be quieter or more reflective. Sometimes the children will create their own spaces within areas too - we have a pallet den at the back of the slide and some days it is used as space to just sit and read books whilst on other days it is a busy hub of climbing children.
Our willow dens have really bloomed in the last few dry weeks and the children are enjoying going into them to have conversations and be away from the business of the wider playground. It is lovely to hear snatches of conversation from within them or singing etc. as two or three children gather inside them.
We created a little reading nook under the slide a few years back and you often find solitary children in there enjoying books or again a little group gathered together sharing a favourite book. This class added a few extra chairs to allow for more friends to pile in. 
The tunnel in between the 2 slides always proves a popular spot for children to gather together and chat or just watch the world go by - it is also the go to spot when a child knows they have done something they shouldn't - I think they realise no adult will be able to get up there to them!

Some quieter children are drawn to the chalk board or to just sitting chalking on the ground, oblivious to everyone and everything else.
When designing new playground spaces I believe that little spaces to be out of sight and away from the hustle and bustle are important. I can only imagine that nursery with 25 other 3 and 4 years olds must be hard for those children who are introverts and they really need time to be allowed to just sit and reflect on they have experienced that day.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Kierna, I love this piece. Do you mind if I post a link to it from my blog page?

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  2. Here you go Kierna. http://tessaroselandscapes.blogspot.com.au/2016/06/learning-for-life-creating-quiet-spaces.html

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  3. This is a very nice piece Kierna. I remember when I visited schools in the UK there were many of these spaces created by willow dens. I was struck by the fact that entry ways were child size, not adult size. I must also add: children need to find or create those quiet spaces inside, too.

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    1. Hello Tom, hope you are enjoying retirement! Yes, you are right, in fact they probably need quiet spaces indoors even more so than outdoors!

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  4. Quite a great idea since reflective children...well, rather hard to find today. We used to make tents when we were little and the tents were, obviously, little too. And we used materials our parents happened to need badly :) This is what reminded me your post about and makes me believe it is a good idea to create quite spaces for children or help them create for themselves.

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  5. In our busy life we need some quite place to make some fun. I mostly prefer Longboarding and also love downhill riding experiences. thanks for the post.

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