Best Practice

Some playground game ideas

Helping children to engage with playground games has clear benefits for their enjoyment of school life and their education, says Jenny Mosley. She offers some ideas and advice

For some children, playtime can be a huge problem and can have a significant impact on their learning. A stressful lunchtime for a child can greatly affect their ability to work and participate in the afternoon.

Perhaps an argument over a football, or name-calling that went too far. Such everyday occurrences leave children in a state of stress, in a “fight or flight” mode, where they can’t focus well or learn effectively. Thinking carefully about playtimes is essential.

Many schools find that promoting a range of playground games can make playtimes more positive and help eliminate boredom or unconstructive behaviour.

In the past, playtime games, often taught to younger children by older siblings and friends, helped whole communities of children to develop and use their imagination, to hone their skills of interacting socially, of cooperation, of negotiation and of turn-taking. They also learnt how to create their own fun and, importantly, they ran around and kept fit without effort. All of these are skills and qualities that young people require during later years.

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