Incorporating Your Curriculum: Playground Science Games
Playgrounds provide a wonderful opportunity for hands-on lessons in science. Playground games and educational playground equipment allow teachers to incorporate a wide range of topics from the curriculum into students' outdoor play time. Science playground games and experiments are a great way to introduce new scientific concepts to kids and nurture a lifelong love of the subject. The playground gives kids the opportunity to explore challenging abstract concepts in an engaging and interactive way; in fact, playground games are very effective in demonstrating the scientific method to even young students through simple examples and experiments. Teachers can use science playground activities to introduce kids to new concepts about nature, physics, and more!
Learning about Nature
Teachers can make the most of children's instinctive curiosity about the natural world to teach lessons in environmental science. Playground landscaping and targeted educational equipment are both useful for such lessons. Younger students will enjoy games of gathering different items from around the playground like leaves, grass, dirt, and even bugs. Teachers can explain different fun scientific facts about the natural objects and then allow students to examine them with magnifying glasses for a new perspective. Teachers can also use garden play stations for activities on plants for older students by creating fun games for identifying different stages of plant growth and parts. Sand play tables are another great resource supporting a nature science lesson. Kids love dinosaurs and are sure to love an excavation activity. While some sand play stations come with fossils, teachers can easily bury items for discovery. This activity is a fun way to support lessons on prehistoric animals, the fossilization process, and more. You can also use the weather as part of science playground activities by observing how the moving sun affects the shadows of playground equipment, or how different playground materials retain heat or cold.
Learning the Basics of Physics and Chemistry
Physics and chemistry don't have to be intimidating. Use playground equipment to introduce even the youngest of children to the basic concepts with fun activities and clear explanations. The swing provides a fantastic opportunity to teach a lesson in momentum. Have younger students pump their legs at different speeds and show how that affects the swing's movements, while older students can observe a fellow student being pushed on a swing and learn about the interplay of momentum and gravity. If your playground has a spinner or merry-go-round, this is another great activity that can be used to teach students about physics. Have students look at how speed changes when they apply more force and more weight. The slide can be used to teach various physics concepts as well. Create a race between students siting on different materials like carpet or construction paper to memorably show the effects of friction; or roll balls of differing sizes down the slide to teach momentum and gravity. Climbing equipment also lends itself well to experiments and games. Have kids clamber up and drop different items like sheets of paper and small objects. Have them predict which items will land first using concepts like air resistance and gravity.
Water play and sand tables also offer fantastic opportunities for science games. Water play can also be used to teach concepts like buoyancy, transformation, and dilution. Students can do fun experiments with water, seeing how it changes sand and dirt. Students will also love trying to guess what will float and what will sink, watching how dilution works with food coloring games, and how soap creates bubbles.
Shop AAA State of Play's online store for a great selection of educational playground equipment that is perfect for facilitating interactive science lessons. You can buy sand and water tables, nature stations, excavation sand boxes, and more. If you decide to purchase new equipment, we guarantee fast and easy delivery and top-notch customer service!
Find more about the author: Kim Hart