The foundation of free play
While there is a consensus regarding the fact that a return to free play is necessary for the development and well-being of children, the winning conditions to foster this must still be brought together! What are they ?
1. Free time in sufficient quantity
In order for children to engage in free play, they have to have the opportunity. Therefore, one of the essential conditions is to leave the child su cient unstructured time to avoid interruptions. Naturally, we are inclined to nd ways to keep children busy so that they don’t get bored. However, boredom is healthy. Why? Because it forces children to nd ways to amuse themselves and to get out of this state of boredom. A fabulous exercise to help them develop their creativity!
2. The freedom to explore and choose
Another key aspect: the child must have the freedom to organize their play themselves without the adult structuring it for them. Therefore, there is some spontaneity in the world of free play. Children can thus improvise with what they nd in their environment, with their imagination and based on their own initiative. This way, they de ne when play starts and they choose the moment when their play ends. Letting children climb, do summersaults, balance on things, explore an environment like the woods, get dirty, walk through the streets of their neighbourhood, is also encouraging them be active and develop their physical and mental skills.
3. A space where adults don't intervene
In order for children to dive into their own universe, they must be le to themselves to some extent. It is then up to the child to create their own experiences, to determine how they interact with others, how they use items, how they make their game unfold. This freedom is only possible if there are no adult interventions. And if there is enough space to run and explore. Grassy expanses, sandy corners, the presence of nature are all good foundations for feeding the imagination!
4. Items to boost the imagination
Naturally creative and imaginative, children have the incomparable gi of transforming everything that surrounds them into play accessories. Everything found within reach is material for having fun. Wooden pallets, barrels, tires, reclaimed items are all accessible accessories that should be made available to them. No worry, children will nd a purpose for them! They are masters of the art of making something out of nothing!
At Jambette, we create playgrounds for free play that give children the opportunity to express their talents and develop their creativity.