‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ reminds us that taking a break from work helps us to do better. Children need to take a break their books and play on the school playground equipment. Fun at playtime is as important as knowing how to do long division or use adverbial clauses.
It’s a well-known fact that as well as being fun, physical activity is not a break from learning, it’s an investment in improving academic performance.
Stimulating the brain helps it to absorb as much information as possible. It acts like a conductor controlling all of the aspects of our lives. The brain processes everything we do. We all learn in different ways; some people favour words and others pictures.
Schools adapt their teaching methods to accommodate these learning styles. Children respond to some styles better than others. They concentrate better in lessons when they participate in the physical, social and emotional play.
The seven different learning styles are; visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary. We all learn using these methods but find some more effective than others. Teachers are aware that children are individuals and try to use a variety of methods in their lessons.
Maths lessons incorporate many different teaching styles. Counters, dienes blocks multilink and place value cards are physical representations of numbers. Children learn how to count and add using visual, physical, aural, verbal and logical methods. All year groups have access to this type of equipment so that they can understand mathematical concepts.
In science, children demonstrate the ‘Three States Of Matter’ by using their bodies. Children act like solids, liquids, and gases so they remember the different states. Practical lessons help children to process information and achieve a greater understanding.
School playground equipment helps children to learn in two ways. Exercise releases pent-up energy and endorphins. Both relax the mind and children settle quicker when they return to class. Children who run, bounce and climb at playtime concentrate more when they return to class.
Playground equipment is also educational and fits in with the National Curriculum. Mud kitchens, musical playground equipment, sandpits, planters and storytelling chairs allow children to learn outdoors. Each piece of equipment provides children with lots of learning opportunities.
A restless child will settle after five minutes spinning or swinging. When children spin they experience vestibular stimulation. The vestibular is situated in the inner ear. It also helps children to develop spatial awareness and balance.
Children are learning every single second of the day. In lessons their achievements are quantifiable. At playtime, children learn how to interact with others. They experience the pain and pleasure of losing and gaining friends.
Playtime involves free play where the children are in charge of what they do. School playground equipment such as the Mud Kitchen and role play areas allow them to act out real-life scenarios. The trim trail involves balancing and improves muscle strength. A climbing frame strengthens their upper body and challenges them.
Children won’t necessarily use school playground equipment in the way it was intended. This is where the magic comes into playtimes. Pupils are ready to learn after defeating zombies and creating new worlds.
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