Handbook

Introduction

Guide to Implementation

The Implementation Team

Student Leaders

Student Leader Application Form

Safety First

Preparing the Playground Area

Playground Equipment

Playground Rules

Conflict Resolution/ Problem Solving

Playground Games

Great Playground Games for K - 6

Favorite Active Games (Phys Ed Teachers)

Winter Games

Special Equipment Days

Feedback & Evaluation

 

 

Asphalt Stencils Available from Western School District

Other Funding Options

 

ACTIVE SCHOOL PLAYGROUNDS

The kids are not all right.  The 2014 Active Healthy Kids Annual Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth was released last week and our kids received a grade of “D minus” in Overall Physical Activity and “F” in Sedentary Behaviors.  Of the 14 countries evaluated, only children in Scotland scored lower. The Report states that;

·         84% of Canadian kids aged 3 – 4 are active enough to meet physical activity guidelines for their age group. 

·         By the time children go to school, however, this falls to only 7% of kids ages 5 – 11 meeting the 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity per day physical activity guideline, and only 4% meeting the guidelines at ages 12 – 17. 

·         40% of kids (5 – 17 years) meet the guidelines at least 3 days per week; but to achieve health benefits, these kids need to get 60 minutes every day of the week. 

 “We have engineered opportunities for spontaneous movement (such as getting to places on foot and playing outdoors) out of our kids’ daily lives, and have tried to compensate with organized activities such as dance recitals, soccer leagues and PE classes.  Canadian parents look to structured activities and schools to get their kids moving.” 

But well-developed policies, places, and organized programs are not enough to make up for lost active time.  We need to step back and allow kids to play in a variety of different ways.  Simply allowing our students to go outside to play at recess and lunch could raise physical activity levels by 200 minutes per week. 

A recent study of 33 Ontario schools involved in a healthy living initiative (students exercise every day, play extra sports, and are discouraged from eating junk food) saw overall scores climb by 18 % over two years in reading, writing, and math.  This compares to a growth of 4 % for similar schools not in the health program.  Principals also said there were fewer fights and better attendance.  “Children don’t become brighter because they’re physically active, but they are less tired, less agitated, less stressed, and less sick.  Physically active kids are in a better condition for learning.” –Professor G. Fishburne, University of Alberta (Globe and Mail, Jan 2007)

             To increase daily physical activity levels for all kids, we must encourage the accumulation of physical activity throughout a child’s day, and consider a mix of opportunities (e.g. sport, active play, active transportation). “School boards and administrators should revisit outdoor playground rules that inhibit physical activity and free play.”