Different Strokes

How do your kids roll during recess?

My three kids are very different people who use their free time in different ways. During school recess, one would choose to hang with friends and play imaginative games, one would sometimes opt for taking a quiet break by herself, and one is all about burning off the energy with kinetic play and ball games. And of course, their needs and choices might depend on the day they’re having.

In Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation, the author suggests thinking about varied free play options for kids’ different needs and interests.  This might mean ensuring a range of playground spaces for traditional active play (play structures and ball games); open-ended, creative play (natural spaces for climbing, digging, imaginative games); and quieter, restorative niches (nooks with places to sit and nature to explore).

I think we could all agree our kids would benefit from more nature in our barren playground, whether they’d prefer to be jumping from rock to rock in the shade of a tree, building a fairy garden with leaves and sticks, or looking for bugs in a habitat area (I read about one school that hands out magnifying glasses as part of their playground equipment).

What natural play spaces would your students enjoy on the playground?




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