Children approach the world with a sense of wonder that inspires us. Every experience and interaction is a learning opportunity for them, and we love to watch their world grow every day. This is why we designed our GTA indoor playground to optimize their learning experiences. Helping our kids get the most out of every learning opportunity will start them off on the best foot and prepare them for a successful, happy, future. A safe, positive, fun, and encouraging learning environment helps kids to learn at their own pace and develop confidence.
An indoor playground fulfills all these needs for families in the GTA. Easy to supervise, with room for parents to watch or play, and with a kid friendly design, indoor playgrounds offer a safe learning environment. The positive, and supportive environment and attitude encourages children to explore, participate, and play. By offering a variety of games and attractions, indoor playgrounds can offer fun, stimulating, and engaging play for any child in the GTA. Playgrounds have all the right elements in place to be an extension of the classroom that children love.
The idea of playgrounds acting as an extension of the classroom is a proven concept. The Northern Illinois University Early Childhood Research Laboratory conducted a study on the positive effects of playgrounds on a child’s learning. The study focused on preschool aged children. In particular, the researchers wanted to examine how playground participation affected the development of visual-motor integration skills.
A mix of 3-4 year old boys and girls were split into four preschool classes. The experimental group was given two 30 minute weekly sessions of playground play. The control group was given free play time.
The results spoke clearly to the effectiveness of playgrounds as a learning tool. While the control group saw only mild improvements, with greater success amongst the boys than girls, the experimental group had major improvements for boys and girls alike. The improvements in visual-motor integration skills were large and easy to recognize. They also saw improvements in test scores as well as increased assertiveness and imagination. These demonstrated that beyond educational growth, playground participation added self-confidence, an important part of any child’s development.
The study demonstrated the value an indoor GTA playground can have on a child’s healthy development, classroom learning, and classroom readiness (for preschool aged children).
Why are indoor playgrounds successful extensions of classroom learning?
The effectiveness of indoor playgrounds on learning is easy to identify, but the reasons behind it are little more complex. So just why are GTA parents finding indoor playgrounds to be so hopeful in their children’s development and learning skills?
Natural Learning Style
The biggest overarching reason that playground learning is so effective is because it is congruent with the child’s natural learning ability. Children are exploratory learners. They learn by trying new things, observing others, and trial and error. The way children learn is best complimented when they can learn at their own pace. A playground environment encourages this sort of courageous learning, where it is okay to make mistakes.
This idea of courageous learning allows children to push themselves to learn without fearing repercussions of mistakes. Typical classroom scenarios where marks are given can discourage this type of learning because it adds fear of making mistakes. By integrating playground learning, children are given a time and space where they are rewarded for courageous learning. This helps them form a more balanced and healthy attitude towards education. Individual thought, creativity, and imagination are encouraged and developed through this learning style.
Active learning versus Passive learning – what’s the difference? How are they achieved?
Indoor playgrounds in the GTA encourage active learning. Active learning is hands on and involved. This type of learning is effective because it is driven by the children themselves, so it is engaging and fits into their interests. Active learning is effective because of this interest and engagement; it places the child in a situation where they are most open to learning.
Passive learning is a more traditional style wherein the child is not as involved in initiating the learning process. This is less engaging than active learning, but more frequently involves learning from an authority on subjects whether they are a teacher, instructor, or specialist. The level of engagement is lower than active learning, but more often has a larger source of knowledge to draw from. Active and passive learning both have their benefits, but the best results seem to come from a combination of both. While classrooms will continue to be mostly passive learning, active learning opportunities like the playground will help to establish independent learning skills and confidence.
One of the great benefits of using the playground as an extension of the classroom is that it offers ample opportunity for peer learning. In recent years peer learning has really come into the spotlight as we have begun to really understand its value.
There is an emerging movement in progressive schools that are embracing peer learning to revolutionize the way we educate children. These schools are using an education model known as the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom is, just as it sounds, taking the existing way we teach students, and flipping it on its head.
Instead of being taught theory in class and then given practical questions and exercises to work on at home, they are taking the opposite approach. Children are given guided learning material in books and online that allow them to teach themselves theory at home so that they can learn at their own pace. This helps to improve their understanding and ability to apply concepts to practical uses. In the classroom they work on the exercises and questions that those theories apply to. There they can benefit from working with and learning from their peers as well as having the teacher correct any difficulties and help with clarification. With this blend of active and peer learning, the classroom is now beginning to mirror playground learning.
Fundamental Learning Tasks
Many of the skills and tasks developed through playground play relate directly back to classroom learning. The playground is one of the initial places where children begin to develop fundamental learning tasks. Throughout their early education it continues to serve to reinforce and influence them. The learning tasks that are improved on here are beneficial at play, in the classroom, and throughout all future learning. It takes advantage of a child’s natural learning style to set the foundation for their education.
Playing is one of the top ways to encourage active learning, and playground activities put greater focus on these activities. Some of the fundamental learning tasks and skills that are developed here include, the ability to follow directions, communication skills, social skills, taking turns, emotional development, focusing attention, and making choices. Through these activities children have clear goals, rules, and can see direct correlations with the results of their choices and actions. Teambuilding and cooperation to achieve a common goal are learned. These skills help not only lay the groundwork for their education, but for a successful life after school as well.
Our GTA indoor playground pushes the bounds of this even further with the sheer variety of activities and learning opportunities that we offer. Interactive walls and motion games give them more opportunities to explore together that they won’t get anywhere else. Programs offer unique learning experiences for kids of all ages, from babies to preteens. Kids can gain from a wide variety of different learning experiences, improving cognitive development with music or through intellectually stimulating art activities. Our variety of stimulating and fun learning opportunities are sure to encourage active and courageous learning for years to come.
GTA indoor playgrounds are environments that inspire positive learning attitudes. Children are excited to come play and explore. This excitement and the association of fun that children have with playgrounds encourages them to become engage learning activities and to participate. This mindset opens their minds to enthusiastic learning. Active participants in playground play tend to become active participants in the classroom. The positive association that children develop with learning sets them up for a lifelong love of learning.
Come Visit Today for Educational Play
At our indoor playground in the Greater Toronto Area we strive to inspire and encourage your child’s natural inclinations toward exploration and curiosity. We have taken great care to create a fun environment that acts as an extension to classroom learning. Our playground and programs are designed to fit into a child’s natural learning style, encourage active learning, peer learning, a positive educational attitude, and develop fundamental learning tasks.
Whether you are looking for kid’s birthday party ideas, or just want to come in for open play, we are proud to present a fun and safe environment that encourages positive lifelong learning development skills. At this GTA indoor playground, every child has the opportunity for continued growth in a world of continuous learning opportunities. Come in today for drop in play, book a party or program.