Musical playground equipment is a fun, creative world that children can immerse themselves in. But, some parent may view this as an irritating gimmick. This article will seek to show that this type of play equipment is far from a gimmick and that it may, in fact, help your child develop. We’ll look at the benefits music offers children and how a musical playground can improve social skills by creating an inclusive play environment.
In a musical playground the equipment makes different sounds depending on how it’s interacted with. A giant xylophone, for example, will make different sound depending on which keys the children jump on. The playgrounds are designed around a simple philosophy, that music enhances play and helps children develop. This idea makes a great deal of sense. Many parents will be familiar with their children singing their favourite songs, even they don’t yet understand the meaning of the lyrics. A musical playground makes music creation a fun, social experience. Children can interact to create unique tunes and experiment with sounds. Activities like creating music encourage participation with other children, increasingly socialisation. While this may all sound great, in theory, what evidence do we have to support the assertion that music is beneficial to children?
Studies have shown that music lessons with teachers can increase knowledge of patterns and understanding of rhythms. Additionally, it shows that students can more easily apply logic in new situations to solve problems. There is also evidence to suggest that children who undertook music lessons were less likely to internalise problems. Furthermore, studies suggest that exposure to music in early childhood makes children speak clearer and develop a larger vocabulary. These findings illustrate why many psychologists recommend children have experiences with listening to and creating music in their early childhood. Musical playgrounds were purpose-built to give children the chance to develop their music skills in a fun, social way.
A further benefit of musical playgrounds is that music can transcend language and disability. This encourages everyone to participate equally. By having a more diverse play environment, it lets children experience other cultures and ways of life, while having fun. In fact, musical playgrounds have been shown to help children with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome participate in social play. For children with diminished social skills, these types of playgrounds can have amazing benefits, such as giving them a chance to socialise. By incorporating people who might be otherwise left out children will learn how to play constructively with a wider array of people.
This article has looked at the benefits of musical playgrounds. The benefits of regularly incorporating music in childhood play were discussed. Additionally, how these playgrounds can improve social skills by being able to include everyone regardless of physical or mental ability was examined. Hopefully, you will now see these playgrounds as more than loud, annoying structures. So, take your child to a musical playground today. Or, if you don’t have one in your area, lobby the council to build one.