Have you ever thought of integrating musical elements into your play space? If your answer is no, then it may be time to consider this idea. Music and play go hand in hand, but it is only in recent years that we’ve become fully aware of the range of sensory benefits that can come encouraging children to explore their sense of sound. Music is one of the best ways to enliven children, while movement and active play provide a basis for the development of motor skills, agility and cognitive function.
So what features should be included in a musical playground? Sound columns, rainmakers and sound drums are some of the more permanent pieces of equipment. However, if you’re strapped for cash then there are plenty of homemade options that you could explore. For example, you could create a music wall by attaching pots, pans chimes to an outside wall. Anything that makes an interesting noise can be gathered from around the house and used to facilitate play.
The possibilities really are endless when it comes to sensory and music play. We thought we’d take a closer look at some of the cognitive benefits that come from incorporating music into play spaces.
Music & Play Spaces
For children, the use of music can work well both in a group situation and at an individual level. Experimenting with music as part of a group is a great way for children to experience group dynamics and to practice working as part of a team with their peers. Research shows that music contributes a lot to language development and it can also improve children’s mathematical abilities. Play relaxes and refreshes the mind. Taking some time out from the classroom to engage in music play and be as loud as they desire provides an outlet for children’s energy and makes them more able to solve complex problems.
In essence, a little play increases children’s concentration. Both music and play spaces naturally fit together because the two share many similar qualities. Play spaces should have the ability to engage both your body and mind. Music is in itself a form of play. The elements encountered in music such as joy, repetition can equally be felt in play. If you are at the early stage of design a playground, it is worth considering the impacts of sound elements and how to incorporate music into any type of play space. Installing interactive play elements into your play space will boost its usability.
Interactivity: The key component
It is fun for children to listen to music, but it brings out a totally new experience if they’re able to take part in its creation. As mentioned above, incorporating sound features will achieve interactivity for your play space, which is a vital component. In addition to this, it will boost both children’s cognitive and social capacity. It is more important for kids to be engaged rather than playing a passive role of listening. Engaging in the creation of music has been found to be contributing a lot to neural-processing ability. In addition to this, those students who engage in musical creation were found to outshine their peers’ reading abilities.
Therefore, interactivity is a key component for those looking forward balancing their playing experience and music experience. A range of physical and mental benefits can be achieved through incorporating music into your play space. It is not easy to transform fun into education but adding musical elements to play spaces helps you achieve this. Music into a play space improves your imagination. As children go about climbing and sliding consider adding musical elements as it will make them more involved.