30 Jul The Science of Net Play – Part 4
This weeks’ article focuses on more of the many passive learning opportunities presented to a child while they play on Dynamo commercial playground equipment.
WHAT GOES UP…
Barring an object achieving escape velocity, which has yet to happen on any Dynamo product, it is a scientific principle that what goes up, must also come down. We rely on this principle every day without thinking too much about it. But after scaling to the top of any net climber, a child is then confronted with, shall we say, the gravity of this principle. As with climbing a tree, it is often easier to go up than down. Once at the top, children can use cognitive skills to navigate a path back down the net climber that matches their level of ability, with a careful arrangement of flexible cables to catch them should they misstep. They can then ascend and descend the climber over and over again, taking different routes each time without anything to guide them other than their own intuition.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED…
There is a television program dedicated to the debunking of urban myths by scientific principles, for whom the mantra “Failure is always an option” is almost a weekly occurrence. While this may not always be true on the playground, what children can learn from having a task that they cannot master immediately is the value of mastering a new skill and trying again until they can succeed.
In conclusion, there are many aspects about the how the world works that are designed and built into the Dynamo playground equipment. It is up to the children to explore and make sense of their play environment and grow in their knowledge of the world around them. Play itself can be a learning experience.