Play in Schools
Education and play work
hand-in-hand as play stimulates several different areas of the brain and
encourages the development of important life skills. Play is proven to help
children grow their numeracy, problem-solving, social and physical literacy
skills, and many more!
The API believes play is an
essential part of every child’s day and, therefore, we feel play should be
incorporated into the school day, giving children frequent opportunities to
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Play + Learning = FUN!
Play and playgrounds offer the
perfect opportunity for outdoor learning. They allow children to explore both
natural and built environments and get active after long periods of classroom
learning. Children that may otherwise struggle to concentrate in a classroom
environment can benefit from more active learning and the use of large scale
The Playful Instinct
Like many animals, humans are
born with a natural desire to play. As part of our evolution we use play both
to socialise and to "try-out" new skills. For school children this
means learning to mix and work together with others as they test both minds and
bodies during play.
Making Space for Pupils
The playground environment is
often a child-led space and enables children to form friendships, develop their
emotional intelligence and learn to share and co-operate when using play
equipment. Lessons in the playground allow teaching staff to engage with
children in a familiar, more playful context.
Obesity in Schools
The Government's National Child
Measurement Programme (NCMP) measures more than a million pupils each year. The
figures for 2010/11 tell us that nearly 10% of children aged between 4-5 and
almost 20% of 10-11 years-old are obese.
These figures vary slightly each
year, but on average, they remain consistently high, with more than 1/3 of
10-11 year-olds either obese or overweight.
The API believes that, alongside
recent Government plans to educate school children about positive body image,
schools should also seek to teach pupils about the long-term health risks of
obesity and how active play can improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Supplemented
by lessons on healthy eating, children are given the tools to make the right
choices when it comes to staying fit, healthy and happy.