From a child’s perspective a kids-only space is a big deal. They’re so used to having spaces governed by adults and social rules. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring this topic in a bit more depth. We’ll be covering the benefits that come with allowing children to create their own spaces and how you can promote this type of play for your child.
We’ve spoken a lot about how children play and how different types of play promote particular forms of development.
A great example of this is building tents, dens and other areas that are entirely their own. In these spaces, children can take complete ownership and enjoy imaginative play in their own space.
A number of our blogs have focused on this idea, including our blog about why kids build tents and exploring why independent play is so important for a child’s development. We find how children learn and what activities promote the best abilities in them for their later life fascinating.
At Mini beee, we pride ourselves on creating outdoor furnishings which allow children to play in a way that brings them the most fun, creativity, and all-around developmental benefits. For example, we know that creating adult-free spaces is a particularly beneficial activity in these ways.
So, in this blog post, we’ll be exploring this topic in a bit more depth. Below, we’ll be covering the benefits that come with allowing children to create their own spaces and how you can promote this type of play for your child.
What’s the appeal?
It sounds like such a simple thing on the surface - creating a ‘no grown-ups allowed’ space is clearly a good laugh, but actually, the principle goes far beyond this.
From a child’s perspective, this kids-only space is a big deal. They’re so used to having spaces governed by adults and social rules that it’s hard to imagine how excited they’ll be to learn that this newly constructed space is a place they can shape however they like.
Here, their imagination can roam completely free, and in their mind’s eye, they can make this space whatever they want it to be.
Watching a child play is a magical thing. It’s so beautiful to see their wonderful sense of imagination and creativity unfold. There’s nothing else quite like it.
With the help of a child’s imagination, a pile of cushions or a tower of logs can be transformed into, well, absolutely anything: a medieval castle, a fantasy world on a cloud, or a fairytale kingdom.
In these adult-free spaces, they can create a world of play without restrictions, limitations, or fears.
How can kids-only spaces benefit development?
Beyond being an awful lot of fun, these spaces offer children a fantastic range of developmental benefits.
Here are just some of the ways that this kind of play can help your child to grow:
Develop their imagination. These creative spaces encourage children to put their brains to work and immerse themselves in imaginative play.
Boost their sense of independence. These games will help them to learn that they don’t need to depend on their parents for anything. They can create games and have fun on their own, too.
Enhance their confidence. Building on the point above, this sense of independence helps a child to feel more confident in themselves.
Help them to learn new skills. Even with something as simple as building a den, a child can learn all sorts of practical skills.
Encourage exploration. This independent approach to play gives children a chance to learn new things about the world around them. This helps to promote an inquisitive, explorative and enthused approach to the world.
Help them to tackle challenges on their own. When you’re building a den, you’re faced with all sorts of small challenges. How do you build up the structure? How can you keep it stable? And so on. By building adult-free spaces, a child can tackle these challenges independently, which is a fantastic skill for them to develop.
How can you encourage this independent adult-free play at home?
We know that it’s not always easy to encourage your child to play independently. A lot of the time, they’d much rather play with you. And that’s lovely.
But, it’s essential that you do your best to balance this. Sometimes, you’ll have to coerce your child into playing independently and building their own ‘no grown-ups allowed’ space.
Here are our 5 top tips for helping you to encourage this type of play at home:
Help them to see the fun in it. Talk to your child about how brilliant it would be for them to spend the afternoon building their very own den. Then, once they’ve made it, be sure to praise them for their hard work!
Take them out exploring the great outdoors. The natural world is a wealth of fantastic den-building materials. Help your child get started with den-building by teaching them about logs, plants, and twigs and showing them different ways that they can be used to build a cool den.
Encourage their questions. Help to foster this curiosity by being on-hand to answer their questions. Guide them from an arm’s length, answering questions but not helicopter parenting. And, whenever you are playing together, encourage your child to be creative, curious and imaginative.
Give them their own little corner of the garden. If space allows, give your child your own little patch of the garden, which they can use to build their dens on. This will help enhance this sense of independence and reinforce the fact that this space is for children only. You can read our blog post, Imaginative ways to transform your garden, to get more ideas about this.
Think about the materials and furnishings that you can use for den-building. Equip your child with the materials that they need to create these fantastic dens. This could be outdoor cushions, large logs, canvas, rugs, cardboard, or whatever else you have around the house - use your imagination.
You shouldn’t have to try too hard - after a little bit of persuasion, your child will soon see all the fun to be had in creating their very own adult-free space.
What we love about this type of play is that it’s so brilliantly simple. Something as little as building a den has the opportunity to enhance your child’s personal and interpersonal skills in so many ways.
At Mini beee, we create a range of outdoor furnishings which act as brilliant den-building spaces. With these, your child can unleash their creativity and delight in building their very own dens time and time again.