Why Is School Playground Equipment So Important?Monday, 16th April 2018 4:33 pm
School playground equipment has certainly changed over the years. If schools were lucky enough to have equipment it was normally unimaginative and focused on physical development. Children tended to rely on hopscotches, skipping ropes and ball games to provide respite from their studies.
These days school playground equipment is an integral part of the school day. A greater emphasis on play has made it essential that playground equipment fulfils a wide range of educational needs. The use of school playground equipment is no longer restricted to playtimes as teachers incorporate it into the curriculum.
Early years practitioners use school playground equipment to deliver a great proportion of the EYFS curriculum. While forest days has increased the need for outdoor learning areas and classrooms.
EYFS Playground Equipment
There is a huge emphasis on play in the early years’ curriculum. This is because the simple activity of play teaches children everything they need to know about the world around them. Engaging in different types of play including physical, imaginative and role play gives children the opportunity to learn new skills.
Sand And Water Play
No early years classroom is complete without a sand and water play area. Children learn how to create imaginary worlds using the sand which in turn develops communication and storytelling skills. They find can count how many buckets of sand it takes to fill a larger container and how much water is required to build perfect sand castles. Most importantly they learn how to share equipment and how to take it in turns to use it.
Water play involves measuring and understanding that some containers can hold more water than others. They can learn about floating and sinking as well as which shape makes the best boat.
School playground equipment designed to encourage role play includes; a log train, wigwam and playhouse. All provide the perfect opportunity for children to act like; passengers, train drivers, campers and householders. Children will be able to recreate the experiences they have at home and copy the way their parents live. Teachers can set up scenarios so that children can learn how to buy train tickets for a trip.
Role play is a very effective way to teach children how everyday life works. Usually, a corner of the classroom is dedicated to role play. Children learn about being; shopkeepers, vets, customers, looking after the house, caring for others and much more from imitating life in this way.
Environmental school playground equipment provides the perfect opportunity to learn how plants grow. In fact, there is nothing more exciting than planting carrot seeds, watering them and watching them grow. After the carrots have been harvested the children could learn how to bake a carrot cake and enjoy the food they have created.
Musical Playground Equipment
Being able to hear sounds is extremely important as it helps children to speak and read more effectively. Early years children are actively encouraged to use their voices so that they can learn all of the sounds necessary to talk. This also helps them to grasp phonics quickly and become prolific readers.
Musical school playground equipment gives children the opportunity to be musically creative in the great outdoors. They can learn to play the instruments together to either produce a musical representation of nature or as a backing track for a song they have written. Learning can continue during playtimes because children will be able to access them easily.
Children need to be able to access school playground equipment to develop physically. Physical activity during playtime helps children to relax and settle to learn. Stretching, climbing and balancing improve body strength, spatial awareness and writing.
In order for children to write well, they need to have a strong back, arms and honed fine motor skills.
School playground equipment helps to provide a holistic approach to educating young children. Young children need to have their minds and bodies programmed with learning and thinking strategies so that they can become efficient learners.
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