When it comes to playground markings, obviously the ideal scenario would be to have a lot of space to work with. Understandably, though, it’s not necessarily a given for every school. If you’re faced with the same issue, you’ll know that since outdoor spaces are so valuable for helping encourage physical and social development amongst your pupils, you’ve got to be a lot more selective what you choose for your playground design in order to help them make the most of it. This can be a tough decision, so this week here at Uniplay we’ve got some top tips on how to narrow down your choices.
Even though we have a huge range of playground markings that encourage academic skills like literacy and maths (for example, number and letter games), we find that most schools with limited space tend to place a focus on the markings that focus on physical development and motor skills, since children generally don’t have the same opportunities to be active in the classroom as they do out in the playground. We recommend you take the same approach, at least initially. If you’re not sure which sports or active markings to look at first, we find the Daily Mile is often a good place to start!
It’s true that you can rarely go wrong with timeless playground sports like football or basketball, but if you’ve not got a lot of space to work with, it’s certainly worth broadening your scope a bit. While attitudes are changing over time, traditionally they’ve been seen as ‘boys games’ amongst children, which means that even today, boys can tend to dominate them a bit. In order to encourage all your pupils to get active in the playground, you may want to look at games or playground markings with a more unisex appeal, such as active zones, or tennis courts, or rounders. We even have multi-court markings, combining several reliably popular games into one, to help you make the most efficient use of your limited space.
Depending on exactly how much space you have, you may find that you have to make a decision between one or two large-scale games, or three to five smaller ones. Here at Uniplay, our playground markings offer a helpful variety in size and scale, to give you as many options as possible. Whatever you choose, it’s best to keep things as varied as possible, incorporating a range of skills and games in order to keep the appeal as broad as possible for your pupils. And in fact, you can even enlist some extra help in that respect…
If you’re having trouble deciding between the final few options, it may well be worth asking the children themselves – after all, they’ll be the ones getting the most value out of them! Obviously you’ll have to do a bit of the work for them in advance; you can narrow your options down to the ones that fit your space, budget and possible learning objectives, and then present them with a choice of between two to four. You may find that the old favourites like multi-courts prevail, but you may find that the answer leans more towards something more out-of-the-box, like Snakes and Ladders, mazes or letter games. In short – the answer might surprise you!
Of course, we do everything we can to make the decision as easy as possible for you here at Uniplay, by offering a huge range of markings for your school playground design. You can find a full list of our playground markings categories here, or if you need any help or advice, simply give us a call on 0333 321 6695. We’re here to help!