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A safe outdoor play space with a ​MUGA

Published on May 16th, 2018

The importance of outdoor play for children is fundamental for a child's development. A series of multi-sensory experiences await them as they explore the outdoors. Sometimes however due to the changeable climate within the UK outdoor play is cut short. This is why schools and councils have looked at finding solutions such as multi use games areas (MUGA) and covered play spaces. We have looked at some of the issues surrounding outdoor play and how products like our MUGA can be the solution.

A decline in outdoor play

Sadly, there is an increasing number of barriers that stop children playing out. Play England has carried out research which found that whilst 71% of adults played in the street or area near their home every day when they were a child, only 21% of children do so today. More worryingly, the government’s childhood obesity strategy states nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese.

This largely comes down to societal conditions where adults perpetuate a culture of fear. Not letting their children outside due to it being a space of unpredictability. There is a fear of fast traffic, personal safety and changes in weather; all of these conditions are seen as being potential hazards if children are left alone in an unfamiliar environment.

As a consequence of the fear, adults feel it is safer to implement play at home where the risks are apparent and manageable. This is where we have seen an increase in technology amongst children. While technology is a fundamental part of modern life and it is necessary to understand its use, time online should be monitored, as technology has just as many potential risks as the great outdoors. Technology and skills sessions are filling the time of which children can explore freely and creatively, experiencing the environment in their own way, discovering new things that form their personality and social skills.

This is where structured play spaces can create safe, controlled environments in which children can flourish. By installing a MUGA in parks or in urban estates there can be an area designated to children playing where parents can feel more trusting in the environment. Good playground fencing will keep the children safe from traffic and a carefully thought out MUGA can suit a wide range of age levels.

Why outdoor play is important for children's development

Outdoor play promotes cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being so that children may thrive to the best of their potential. Research has shown that many of the fundamental tasks that children must achieve, such as, exploring, risk-taking, fine and gross motor development can be most effectively learned through outdoor play.

Sport and physical education is fundamental to the early development of children. The skills learned during sport contribute to the holistic development of young people. Through participation in sport young people learn about the importance of key values such as teamwork, fairplay and respect. Multi use games areas allow children to participate in sport in a relaxed manner with friends and others in their communities. This catalyst for building relationships is fantastic for building positive social skills.

How can we encourage outdoor play?

In a world of technology and instant gratification for children, how do we encourage them to get outdoors? The answer is producing an outdoor space that is just as inviting. Multi Use Games Areas (MUGA) include the production of goal posts, target panels, fencing and seating built entirely of steel. They are ideal for the urban areas that would benefit from a contained area in which children can play safely. They are even perfect for school playgrounds where the focus of children’s energy can be placed upon an activity all can enjoy.

The MUGA encourages people to explore the potential of different sports in a safe environment, built solely for that purpose. Additionally, adding a cover to the MUGA means that outside play is not limited to the good weather - often hard to find in the UK. Limiting outside play due to fear and external factors is no longer possible. The MUGA is a sustainable part of encouraging children's’ outside playtime by giving them a new and exciting view of playing outside.

For more information on Steelway Fensecure MUGA options please  click here

  • MUGA at a school
  • MUGA at school
  • MUGA
  • MUGA

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