Royal Playground

We were not among the group of West Coasters setting the alarm for the wee hours of the morning, to watch the Royal Wedding in real time- we prefer not ever getting up in the middle of the night unless it is for a wee one.  We do enjoy a fairy tale or two occasionally.While we are not fans of the simplistic yarn of boy meets girl, rescues girl, and they live happily ever after, we are more inspired by these tales offering the possibility of wonder and whimsy in our worlds. That brings us to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground.

 Built in 2000, this playground's most famous piece is this pirate ship! Inspired by J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, the large playground is within Kensington Gardens and is visited by over 750, 000 children a year.

This playground has everything one can ask for in an environment designed for play: the ability for mixed use during play: gross motor play, fine motor play, dramatic play and mixture of skill levels: there are simple structures and there are more complex structures- children can decide their skill level.

Children don't just pretend they are pirates. They are pirates. They jump, sword fight, leap off couches... Conversely when they are engaged in gross motor play: climbing, swinging, running amok, researchers have found that they play longer if they are also involved in dramatic play. This playground really exemplifies the ideal play environment for children according to researchers. Studies have also shown that children actually play safer on equipment such as this: when children precieve equipment as not quite safe they play better attention to how they move. Educators refer to this as the "safe enough" principle. Equipment needs to be just safe enough for children to pay attention.

Additionally, there are a mixture of textures: sand, water, wood, fabric, etc. Early education teachers note that variety of textures provide a more sensory enriching experience for children.

Since young children learn through their sensory experiences, varying textures helps children with remembering what was learned within that environment- besides doing so is usually more aesthetically pleasing for all of us!  This playground does what any great story, art, or playground should do- it inspires!

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  1. What a lovely place to take the kids. Loving the tepees. Thank you for sharing.

  2. That pirate ship looks incredible! I hope that one day we can take our boy there before he grows too old for it. Lovely post.


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