Importance Of Exploratory Play

Friday, December 17, 2021 8:23:09 AM

Importance Of Exploratory Play

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The importance of play

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When these three assets combine with a supportive, risk-taking culture they create an innovation ecosystem —a synergistic relationship between people, firms and place the physical geography of the district that facilitates idea generation and accelerates commercialization. Economic assets are the firms, institutions and organizations that drive, cultivate or support an innovation-rich environment. Economic assets can be separated into three categories:. Innovation drivers are the research and medical institutions, the large firms, start-ups and entrepreneurs focused on developing cutting-edge technologies, products and services for the market. Due to regional variations in industry strengths, each district is comprised of a unique mix of innovation drivers.

Innovation cultivators are the companies, organizations or groups that support the growth of individuals, firms and their ideas. They include incubators, accelerators, proof-of-concept centers, tech transfer offices, shared working spaces and local high schools, job training firms and community colleges advancing specific skill sets for the innovation-driven economy. Neighborhood-building amenities provide important support services to residents and workers in the district.

This ranges from medical offices to grocery stores, restaurants, coffee bars, small hotels and local retail such as bookstores, clothing stores and sport shops. Physical assets are the public and privately-owned spaces—buildings, open spaces, streets and other infrastructure—designed and organized to stimulate new and higher levels of connectivity, collaboration and innovation. Physical assets can also be divided into three categories:.

Physical assets in the public realm are the spaces accessible to the public, such as parks, plazas and streets that become locales of energy and activity. Physical assets in the private realm are privately-owned buildings and spaces that stimulate innovation in new and creative ways. Office developments are increasingly configured with shared work and lab spaces and smaller, more affordable areas for start-ups. A new form of micro-housing is also emerging, with smaller private apartments that have access to larger public spaces, such as co-working areas, entertainment spaces and common eating areas.

For some districts, knitting together the physical fabric requires remaking the campuses of advanced research institutions to remove fences, walls and other barriers and replace them with connecting elements such as bike paths, sidewalks, pedestrian-oriented streets and activated public spaces. Strategies to strengthen connectivity between the district, adjoining neighborhoods and the broader metropolis include infrastructure investments, such as broadband, transit and road improvements.

Networking assets are the relationships between actors—such as individuals, firms and institutions—that have the potential to generate, sharpen and accelerate the advancement of ideas. This is what separates us from traditional science parks. Networks are generally described as either having strong ties or weak ties. Strong ties occur between people or firms with a working or professional history that have higher levels of trust, are willing to share more detailed information, and are more apt to participate joint problem solving.

Networking assets that build strong ties focus on strengthening relationships within similar fields. Weak ties occur between people or firms working within different contexts or economic clusters where there is infrequent contact. Weak ties provide access to new information, new contacts and business leads outside of existing networks. Networking assets that build weak ties focus on building new relationships across sectors. Examples include: networking breakfasts where experts and star innovators offer new insights in their fields followed by open time to network , innovation centers, hack-a-thons across industry clusters such as life sciences and tech, tech-jam start-up classes and even the choreographed open spaces between buildings.

Research indicates that both strong ties and weak ties are fundamental to the innovation process and firm success. Burgeoning innovation districts can be found in dozens of cities and metropolitan areas across the United States. These districts adhere to one of three general models. General Hospital and the Cortex district in St. This change is powered, in part, by transit access, a historic building stock, and their proximity to downtowns in high rent cities, which is then supplemented with advanced research institutions and anchor companies.

In November, , RTP unveiled a new year master plan that calls for a greater concentration of buildings and amenities, including the creation of a vibrant central district, the addition of up to 1, multi-family housing units, retail and the possible construction of a light rail transit line to connect the park with the larger Raleigh-Durham region. First, build a collaborative leadership network , a collection of leaders from key institutions, firms and sectors who regularly and formally cooperate on the design, delivery, marketing and governance of the district. In advanced innovation districts in Barcelona, Eindhoven, St Louis and Stockholm, leaders found the Triple Helix model of governance to be fundamental to their success.

Second, set a vision for growth by providing actionable guidance for how an innovation district should grow and develop in the short-, medium- and long-term along economic, physical and social dimensions. Most practitioners cite the importance of developing a vision to leverage their unique strengths—distinct economic clusters, leading local and regional institutions and companies, physical location and design advantages and other cultural attributes. Third, pursue talent and technology given that educated and skilled workers and sophisticated infrastructure and systems are the twin drivers of innovation. When most adults were children, playgrounds were asphalt areas with manufactured, fixed playground equipment such as swings, jungle gyms and slides, used solely for recess.

Therefore, most adults see this as the appropriate model for a playground. The cultivation of plants and the domestication of animals allowed our ancestors to dwell in permanent settlements, to expand their population more rapidly, thus beginning a long, sad divorce from nature Manning But even until very recent history, children still grew up with intimate contact with nature. Throughout most of history, when children were free to play, their first choice was often to flee to the nearest wild place—whether it was a big tree or brushy area in the yard or a watercourse or woodland nearby Pyle Two hundred years ago, most children spent their days surrounded by fields, farms or in the wild nature at its edges.

But even then, as recently as , children had access to nature and the world at large. Children had the freedom to play, explore and interact with the natural world with little or no restriction or supervision. Children today have few opportunities for outdoor free play and regular contact with the natural world. Fears of ultraviolet rays, insect-born diseases and various forms of pollution are also leading adults to keep children indoors Wilson Brooks says that a childhood of unsupervised loitering, wandering and exploring has been replaced by a childhood of adult supervised and scheduled improvements.

Childhood and regular unsupervised play in the outdoor natural world are no longer synonymous Wilson Between and , the amount of time children ages 6 to 8 in the U. The virtual is replacing the real Pyle TV, nature documentaries, National Geographic and other nature TV channels and environmental fundraising appeals are conditioning children to think that nature is exotic, awe-inspiring and in far, far away, places they will never experience Chipeniuk Children are losing the understanding that nature exists in their own backyards and neighborhoods, which further disconnects them from knowledge and appreciation of the natural world.

The alternative to future generations who value nature is the continued exploitation and destruction of nature. One of the main problems with most environmental education is premature abstraction, teaching children too abstractly. One result of trying to teach children at too early of an age about abstract concepts like rainforest destruction, acid rain, ozone holes and whale hunting can be dissociation. When we ask children to deal with problems beyond their cognitive abilities, understanding and control, they can become anxious, tune out and develop a phobia to the issues.

In the case of environmental issues, biophobia—a fear of the natural world and ecological problems—a fear of just being outside—can develop. But if love comes first, knowledge is sure to follow. We need to allow children to develop their biophilia, their love for the Earth, before we ask them to save it. Young children tend to develop emotional attachments to what is familiar and comfortable for them Wilson The child develops biophobia that can range from discomfort and fear in natural places to a prejudice against nature and disgust for whatever is not manmade, managed or air-conditioned Cohen , Bixler, et al.

Regular positive interactions within nature help children develop respect and a caring attitude for the environment. Young children feel a natural kinship with, and are implicitly drawn to animals and especially baby animals Rosen , Sobel Animals are an endless source of wonder for children, fostering a caring attitude and sense of responsibility towards living things. Children interact instinctively and naturally with animals, talk to them, and invest in them emotionally Sobel These new naturalized play environments do not depend on manufactured equipment.

Rather than being built, they are planted—they use the landscape and its vegetation and materials as both the play setting and the play materials. Benefits of Naturalized Playgrounds Research on natural playgrounds is demonstrating the broad benefits this paradigm shift in playground design and environmental learning has to children by offering them play and learning in naturalized environments. Children learn by constructing their own knowledge about the world, not by memorizing facts Piaget In addition to the opportunities for children to develop an environmental ethic through regular contact with nature, natural environments offer children many additional benefits. A growing body of literature shows that the natural environment has positive effects on the well-being of adults, including better psychological well-being, superior cognitive functioning, fewer physical ailments and speedier recovery from illness.

The findings indicate that:. Conclusion Children and society as a whole can benefit significantly by maximizing the informal play and learning opportunities that naturalized outdoor play environments offer young children. Naturalized outdoor early childhood environments are places where children can reclaim the magic that is their birthright, the ability to grow and learn to their fullest in their unique experiential way through the joy of exploration and discovery in the natural world. But perhaps even more important, naturalized playgrounds offer the hope that children will develop the environmental values to become the future stewards of the Earth who will preserve the diversity and wonder of Nature.

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Affiliated companies: Eatertainment Venues 4. Contact About. Children with views of and contact with nature score higher on tests of concentration and self-discipline. The greener, the better the scores Faber Taylor et al. Children who play regularly in natural environments show more advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility, and they are sick less often Fjortoft , Grahn et al. When children play in natural environments, their play is more diverse with imaginative and creative play that fosters language and collaborative skills Faber Taylor et al. Nature buffers the impact of life stress on children and helps them deal with adversity.

The greater the amount of nature exposure, the greater the benefits Wells Nature helps children develop powers of observation and creativity and instills a sense of peace and being at one with the world Crain Early experiences with the natural world have been positively linked with the development of imagination and the sense of wonder Cobb , Louv Wonder is an important motivator for life long learning Wilson Children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other Moore References Acuff, Dan What Kids Buy and Why.

New York: The Free Press. Observed fears and discomforts among urban students on field trips to wildland areas. The Ecopsychology of Child Development, in T. Roszak, M. Kanner Eds Ecopsychology: restoring the Earth, healing the mind. Cousins Environmental dispositions among school-age children. Environment and Behavior , 17 6 Chawla, Louise, How Schoolyards Influence Behavior. Chipeniuk, R. Childhood foraging as a means of acquiring competent human cognition about biodiversity, Environment and Behavior , 27, Cobb, E. Coffey, Ann Promoting Ecological Awareness in Children. Children and the environment: Ecological awareness among preschool children.

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