PLAYFUL PLAYTIMES PROJECT
“An innovative, holistic and sustainable term long schools project that supports children’s play needs at playtimes, long into the future”
Playful Futures Playful Playtimes is a term long programme of awareness raising and practical action that supports primary schools to create higher quality play experiences for children at playtimes. The main steps of the project are as follows:
1. A class of Play Champions conducts a comprehensive investigation over five weekly in-class sessions into what their school is currently like for play at playtimes.
2. We build a storage shed and fill it with play resources (loose parts) that support richer play experiences.
3. We train the staff to be prepared for the changes and to adopt a Playwork approach that ultimately extends and enhances children’s play experiences at playtimes.
4. We support the school staff to implement the changes at playtimes over four lunchtime sessions.
5. The Play Champions re-evaluate what their play opportunities are now like at playtimes to measure the impact.
6. We run a Playful Futures session for parents to find out more.
7. The school continues to run more playful playtimes long into the future!
Some benefits of adopting a Playwork approach at playtimes:
A reduction in violent behaviour in the school playground
The provision of positive social experiences for children
Increased attention and activity in the classroom
Increased integration of different age groups
A reduction in bullying
Increases physical activity and reduces inactivity
Less stress for mid day supervisors
Happy children and staff
The National Children’s Bureau produced a briefing paper on ‘The benefits of school playtime’. In it they gathered some of the academic research on the topic together. Here are some of their findings: