Classrooms are for learning, and playgrounds are for playing, right? Well, what if you could bring the classroom outside to a place children love so much? With a bit of planning and creativity, you can! Playgrounds can be used to teach children lessons in literature, math, science, and much more. Let’s take a look at a few subjects you can teach by using school playgrounds.
School playgrounds are naturally places that spark creativity for children. When given free rein, kids let their imaginations run wild while climbing and jumping around playground equipment. It’s wonderful that they express this level of creativity, and those efforts can be used in a practical, educational way too. Playground creativity can possibly double as literature prompts to spark imaginative writing and storytelling. Under the inspiration of a playground, kids can be enthusiastic about writing and expressing themselves.
Games that promote learning are perfect for children. Teachers can make these games as fun as possible by playing them on the playground. By incorporating different elements and playground equipment, children can learn about numbers, counting, addition, and subtraction in a fun way. This is an engaging and interactive approach to introduce these essential building blocks.
If your students have started learning foreign languages, they can further broaden their communication skills with outdoor lessons. In this environment, students can learn words of objects around them like “tree,” “sky,” and “bird.” This can also be an opportunity to encourage simple dialogue; with children away from their desks, they can easily be put in social situations to practice common greetings and simple conversation prompts. This format will apply a practical use for these words and phrases, helping students to better understand how to communicate in a foreign language.
Teachers will have to get creative to teach this subject on the playground, but you may find moments in history that can be reenacted outside. The playground can be a place to get some use out of classroom arts & crafts and costumes. This engaging and interactive atmosphere may be a great way for students to learn about historical events. Of course, be mindful of more serious and sensitive moments in history such as Civil Rights and other lessons that may not be conducive to moments of play.
When on the playground, children are met with chances to learn social lessons. This environment naturally pushes children to face social concepts like taking turns, playing by the rules, solving problems, expressing empathy, communicating, and so much more. The same lessons can be taught in a structured format. Using the playground as a setting, teachers can set up scenarios and run through the different options and outcomes that may come as a result. This is just one way the playground can be used to teach valuable social lessons.
Playgrounds are more than just slides and swing sets—they’re interactive areas. Playground suppliers now offer innovative play elements such as musical features. While kids can use these on their own during playtime, these instruments can also be used for introductory music lessons.
Recess is such an essential part of the day to get kids active and to give them a break in preparation for a focused afternoon. Teachers could kick off recess on the playground, demonstrating the importance of physical activity. This will give students a better appreciation for recess, and it might even show them new and safe ways to enjoy school playgrounds.
From basic physics to geology and botany, students can learn so much about science by being outside on the playground. Teachers can also share other lessons such as how we can use the sun to tell time. The school playground can serve as a place where kids can have an “ah-ha moment,” seeing what they’ve learned in the classroom out in real life.
Think of art as a window for kids to explore the world around us. It pushes children to notice details and find beauty in the little things. Not only that, but art also plays a role in children’s growth by teaching new skills, encouraging self-expression, and developing the right side of the brain.
There are plenty of art opportunities on the playground. Students can use the playground as a still life, sketching out slides and swings. They can also learn about texture, running their pencils and paper over different elements to make designs. The possibilities are endless when you take the classroom outside.
Silent reading time is a wonderful opportunity to spark a love for stories, inspiring young lifelong readers. On a nice day, this can be the perfect chance to get out of the classroom and enjoy California’s beautiful weather and dig deep into a good book. The school playground can serve as a venue for your class’ sustained silent reading time, acting as a provoking environment to get lost in a story.
Let’s connect! We’d love to talk with you to find a playground solution for your school. Zoom Recreation is a playground equipment provider that will handle your school’s project from concept to installation. To learn more, give us a call at 866-234-3392 or get in touch with us by filling out our contact form.