4 key ways playground markings help children get physically activeApril 23, 2019
Thermoplastic playground markings can be used for all sorts of functions, helping children to practice their maths, co-ordination, communications and literacy skills. However, one of the biggest functions they’re often used is to encourage physical exercise in children. Some industry professionals argue that this is one of their most important uses, as children in the UK are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles, and school playground design gives them valuable opportunities to increase their physical exercise. So, how exactly do playground markings help?
1. Children can choose what games to play
Many British children are largely dependent on their regular Physical Education lessons to give them the exercise they need. Part of the problem is that this isn’t nearly enough. What’s more, some children can struggle to engage properly in PE lessons, and this can sometimes be down to the games or exercises they’re being asked to participate in. Games like football, netball and rugby for example, while broadly popular, will often fail to motivate children with little interest in these games.
This is where thermoplastic playground markings can come in. Here at Uniplay we’ve got a wide range of sport and court markings to choose from, including versatile multi-court markings. These can help give children more agency and freedom to choose the games that most interest them, which is more likely to foster a genuine interest later on, and maybe even make them more receptive to participating in further activities which they might have been reluctant to before.
2. They can also choose who to play with
Team games in organised settings like PE lessons can be intimidating for some children, as their teammates are often arbitrarily selected – sometimes by teachers, sometimes by fellow classmates. While this can be a good way to forge new friendships, equally it can be scary for children to play these games in group settings with children they wouldn’t normally play with. However, playground markings can give them the ability to participate in the same (or similar) games in their leisure time with friends. This can help them to build their skills and confidence outside of lessons, helping them to be more decisive and enthusiastic in classes and team games.
3. It’s more informal and less competitive
Closely related to our point above, playing loosely organised games on the playground allows children to drop in and out of games when they want, giving them freedom in how much they want to participate. This informal setting can be especially helpful for gradually building their self-confidence. When first learning new games or sports, some children can be intimidated by the idea of somehow ‘doing it wrong’ or ‘letting the team down’, and classroom peer pressure can intensify this anxiety. Playground games have none of these sorts of boundaries, however, giving children room and time to develop their skills at their own pace, and helping them to be more enthusiastic about games on their own terms.
4. Children can participate every day
PE lessons may not be a daily occurrence for many pupils, which means that they’re missing out on the daily benefits of exercise. Playground markings, on the other hand, aren’t subject to the same strict schedules, allowing children to benefit from physical exercise on a continual, regular basis. Though it may not provide them with their ideal one hour a day, it can help to get them on the right track. We’ve already talked at length about the Daily Mile, and how it can benefit both individual pupils and schools as a whole.
Our philosophy at Uniplay is “to see children of all abilities develop essential skills through play” and we specialise in the design and installation of thermoplastic playground markings, giving playgrounds colour and creativity to enhance play, fitness and fun. You can choose your favourites from our extensive range of categories, or if give one of our friendly experts a call on 0333 321 6695 if you have any questions, or need any advice. We’re always happy to help!