Hopscotch. Jump rope. Monkey bars. Science?
As the location for unstructured, creative play for kids throughout the country, SciPlay researchers recognize the enormous potential that playgrounds hold for teaching kids about science and technology.
SciPlay has already generated 12 playful playground activities that promote play-based learning. Intended for teachers to use with their students, the activities include instructions for playground activities, related science concepts, classroom activities that link the playground lessons back to the classroom, and how the activities relate to New York City educational standards.
The activities are separated into five overall categories: object play, imaginative play, creative play, storytelling/narrative play, and movement play. Topics covered in the activities include shadows, levers, pulleys, bubbles and more. These activities have been piloted and tested on playgrounds at six New York City public schools. The pilot involved 40 teachers and hundreds of elementary and middle school students. Download the full pilot evaluation here.
To further the science learning possibilities on the playground, schools can browse a selection of science-focused playground equipment via the SciencePlay catalogue.
Forget capture the flag. With all these options for science learning on the playground, it’s time to start capturing students’ interest in science.