It’s straight out of the mouths of babes – children have described the importance of being able to access safe social spaces as an essential element of their happiness. In the latest analysis of children’s perspectives on wellbeing, focus groups from across the UK ranked having somewhere to relax and be able to unwind in the top six things that matter for a happy life. The findings, made just prior to the pandemic, were reported by the Office of National Statistics as part of evidence gathering to feed into the children’s wellbeing measurement framework. What children need for a happy life includes:
safe spaces and things to do
health and well-being
skills and schools
Creating a sense of
At Hand Made Places, we design, manufacture and install timber playground furniture and equipment for learning and fun, supporting the themes raised by the focus groups. Our equipment encourages active play, imaginative play and sensory play. Bringing value to every space for parents, carers and teachers is a big part of what we do. And by delivering exciting and inspirational equipment to facilitate different types of play, we create an experience that meets the expectations and values of the most important users – children. Our playgrounds are places of community, and what is a community without shared social spaces for children to gather and interact?
Playgrounds designed for children
Because we don’t just focus on active play, we create new ways for children to connect with their environment and their peers. Social play is a great way for youngsters to enhance their language and communication skills. It also supports emotional development and the understanding of concepts such as sharing, cooperation, behavioural standards and how to express feelings. We create inclusive play opportunities to bring children of all ages and abilities together, initiating friendships and setting the scene for quality time together. Creating zones for different energy levels is also important. That’s why we have developed an extensive range of playground furniture.
Flexible social spaces
Incorporating furniture into a playground instantly adds the social dimension which children look for. A safe space with things to do can range from a beautiful Storyteller’s Chair and seating to the installation of our Roofed Table for arts and crafts. Our picnic tables and Party Table are great for a snack or a bite to eat before the active play begins again. Or a Swan Seat may be the perfect place for quiet contemplation. Creating the right mix of seating is also important. Our Amazing Seating and Modular Radius Seat encourages youngsters to come together and can be used for outdoor learning and performances. Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum, sitting at Buddy Bus Stop is an easy way for children to show they are looking for some company or a play mate. With decades of playground design experience at Hand Made Places, we work with clients to create the right flow to link the various components of a playground. This extends to fencing and signage, surfacing and shelters to keep visitors safe and protected. Shop our furniture range or get in touch today to discuss your playground social area plans.