We know that children love to play, whether that’s by exploring movements, constructing with equipment, enjoying games, exploring their imagination - or just chasing their friends or families around a playground (or the home) to get all their big energy out.
But did you know that play is a basic right for every child? Yep - the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises this right for children to rest and relax, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to their age and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
The problem is: play is becoming “extinct”.
Here at Funsquare, we take play pretty seriously. Which is why our range of open-ended play products are specifically designed with kids' play in mind, offering freedom from play restrictions, and why we’ve taken a deep dive into the state of play today.
Why is playing becoming “extinct”?
While most of us have pretty fond memories of our own childhoods, spent running around like a wild animal outdoors, climbing trees like a well-versed possum, and spending hours indoors on rainy days building pillow forts and indoor obstacle courses - the state of play today has changed.
Globally, children’s free play with other children has declined sharply, with an increase of anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness and even narcissism in children becoming evident. And many sources are describing child’s play as extinct for a number of reasons, including more use of electronic devices, parents wanting to protect children, and a focus on “educational growth” as opposed to independent, authentic play and exploration.
The Conversation recently shared an article that reflected this dramatic change, and acknowledged that more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, decreasing play opportunities with less open, natural spaces for outdoor play.
Why kids need freedom from play restrictions to develop
As previously noted, it’s incredibly important for children to have access to play, but it’s not just about giving them a toy and hoping for the best. Children need to be intellectually challenged and engaged to find new ways to use spaces for discovery, with a diversity of objects and features offering children a variety of shapes, sizes and locations they can use to discover, explore and invent games and designs.
In simple terms: they need freedom from play restrictions - so they can test their limits, explore every aspect of their physical and mental, and give them the best advantage when it comes to development.
The Conversation noted that “it’s better for play objects not to be fixed as this helps with exploration, discovery and creativity” and that play environments should include spaces for thinking, doing, being and feeling.
Which is why Funsquare is leading the way for Australian children, and is making a dramatic difference in homes across the country (and the world!).
How the Funsquare play couch and other play products can create diversity in play
The priority at Funsquare is to create great quality products that are safe and multi-FUNctional, with a focus on sparking children’s creativity and imagination.
We have a diverse range of open-ended play products that offer freedom from play restrictions and ensure that, even if you’re living in the city without outdoor constraints, you can still offer the very best for your children in the safety of your own home.
It’s about giving children the advantage of open-ended furniture that serves many purposes, and encourages them to engage in self-directed play. Whether our Play Couches act as a fort, a cubby, a high-powered vehicle or even a princess castle, children are able to reap all the benefits, test their limits, and develop crucial skills.
But it’s not just our Play Couch We have a wide range of products tailored to stimulate independent play, creativity, and imagination in kids of all ages.
Our Funsquare Fun Scenes are super easy to use and promote creativity and pretend play for toddlers and kids of all ages. It makes a great kids play tent, but it also inspires role-playing that helps to build their mental ability, promotes cooperative play and empathy, and so much more.
The Funsquare Crash Pad provides a unique sensory experience for children, allowing them to gain proprioceptive input through activities such as squishing, jumping, and crashing, as well as tactical input through rolling and vestibular input. It’s one of our favourite pieces of sensory equipment, helping kids to gain sensory stimuli and offering a perfect treatment option for children with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or any other sensorimotor dysfunction.
And the best part: combining any one of these pieces with one or two add ons can create an incredibly diverse playing experience, perfect for checking all the boxes. It’s a super easy way to create freedom from play restriction!
We’ve known a few families that have turned these open-ended play products into a super fun indoor obstacle course - and with so many ways to set them up, the options really are limitless!
(And so are the benefits! Learn more about how Funsquare offers freedom from play restrictions here!)
When it comes to the healthy development of children, it’s important that they can play and have freedom in that play. It’s all about giving them diversity and ensuring that they can explore everything that life and their bodies have to offer, so they can become educated, well-adjusted kids that have a real knack for knowing themselves and their limits.
If you’re looking for ways to diversify your play, turn your home into the ideal playground for them, and ensure that play doesn’t become “extinct” in your kids home - Funsquare has you covered. Explore our full range of play products and discover the difference our play furniture can do for your whole family.
“We bought this with a dual purpose in mind. To add to indoor play with the funsquare, but also to be able to take outside to help the boys climb up onto the tramp safely. We have synthetic turf out there and works perfectly. So glad I convinced the husband haha. He actually suggested the steps, but I knew the boy's would love the added versatility of the slope being folded up inside as a table/rectangle or open as a slope for open ended play. Definitely worth adding!”
“We were finally able to save up enough to get our 2 babies (2.5y GDD & ASD toddler & 6m infant) a play couch, we use it a lot of the day, everyday. We mainly use it in the couch feature or as a little den for our toddler so she’s shut off from the noises and lights she struggles with. So very happy. I wish we purchased one sooner!”