Let's not forget the outdoor space

23 June 2020


We don’t need to tell you about the importance of outdoor activities and space, within the school day. Especially now the weather is warmer and we’re heading towards the summer holidays. The fact is this year has made outdoor space even more important. Although some children have been able to spend time in parks and gardens, perhaps even getting more exercise than normal, others have not had this opportunity. A return to school is a chance to either redress this balance or carry on the good work.

But how can you do this with the social distancing rules in play? 

The first thing to consider is how you’re going to communicate and try to maintain the social distancing rules. You might want to take a look at our special packages for playground markings - some of which are designed to support games and having fun safely. 

Each play space is going to be different and you needn’t think children can’t enjoy play equipment safely and 2m apart. Here are some suggestions for using your outdoor space productively during social distancing.

1. One of the simplest ways to use your outdoor space is to create a timed activity trail and set children off along it one after another, with a suitable gap in between. This could be on an adventure or fitness trail or it could involve whatever else you have in your playground like climbing, towers or even gym equipment.


2. Why not go ahead with sports day? You can set up socially distant activity stations for activities including a balance beam, skipping, up and over bars, football goal practice, squats, lunges and sprints. 


3. How about arranging a scavenger hunt? Get children to search for a list of items in the school building or outside in the grounds. The items could be natural materials, which they can then use to create a collage. Here’s another idea: why not get them to photograph the items with a camera or tablet, then use them to make a display or artwork?


4. We mentioned them the other day but we love, love, love Twinkl’s Animal Movement Cards. Click here to take a look! And how about the Pet Show Yoga?! Take a look here


5. Dance it out! One of the easiest ways to get children active outdoors is use social distancing playground markers and then put on some music for dance time. Another similar activity would be to name shapes or actions for them to each do, on their markers.

The trick to keeping children active (and let’s not forget that your outdoor space can also be used for socially distant lesson time too - like storytelling and even other activities) is to be imaginative. Look around your outdoor space and think about all the ways you can still use it. In fact… the best way to do this is, we think, involve the children and to set them the challenge of building their own PE lessons! We’d love to hear what they (and you) come up with.

Here at Playforce we’re working hard to help schools keep on top of routine maintenance as well as summer installations. If you’d like to discuss the ways we’re doing this, as well as all the ways your children can still benefit from watching their playground rebuild take shape, please contact us today. We still have a few slots left for summer installations… but they’re going fast!

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