Using Playground Games to Support Classroom Curriculum
Learning doesn't stop once kids leave the classroom. Children learn by playing, making educational playground games a great way to support classroom lessons. Incorporating classroom curriculum into play time is a great way to make learning fun. Playground games make lessons memorable because these interactive activities allow kids to participate, really bringing the lessons to life. Teachers can use fun playground games to teach everything from language arts and social studies to math and science. Like all successful elements of a curriculum, playground games for kids must be tailored to their developmental and educational level.
Bring language arts lessons to the playground with group word games. These games are the perfect way to help students improve reading and articulation. These games are an educational twist on traditional kids' playground games like circle games and tag games. Teachers can use vocabulary flashcards to select which student is "it." Younger children can be responsible for connecting words with images, while older kids can be called on to describe the selected word while other students guess the word. Kids will enjoy naturally recalling words and definitions in a fun and competitive setting. This technique can be adapted to work with any group game of your choice.
One exciting way make history and civics come alive is through imaginative play. Teachers can organize historical reenactments or role playing using playground equipment. Use the different pieces of equipment to represent countries, famous landmarks, and more. Kids' playground games often involve pretend play, so students will enjoy learning social studies lessons through imaginative reenactments. Older students may enjoy a game of capture the flag or follow the leader, as they imagine the playground as new territory to be explored. Teachers can use these games to teach lessons on geography, maps, and stories of famous explorers
Children enjoy counting and keeping track of things while they play, so it's easy to incorporate math into all kinds of play time. Younger children will enjoy counting the number of steps up a slide or how many times they can make a ball bounce without stopping. Teach shapes with a math trail through the playground during which students point out different shapes made by playground equipment and follow patterns they see on the ground. For classes covering measurements or fractions, water play or sand play with containers is an excellent way to help students work on problems using tangible materials.
The playground provides lots of great opportunities for science-centered playground games. Nature stations and sand and water tables are the perfect setting for science lessons, allowing kids to directly learn about the natural world. Teach them how plants grow or how buoyancy works through hands-on experiments. Even traditional playground equipment can be used to teach science. Younger kids can learn about more about their physical world through concepts like temperature and balance while older kids can have fun dropping different things from the top of climbing structures to learn how gravity works, learn about momentum from swings, or use spinners to learn about force and velocity.
Arts & Music
Make art and music lessons even more fun by taking them outside to the playground. Whether it's learning to play a new song on musical playground equipment or learning how to make a new sculpture in the sandbox, kids will love these outdoor art lessons. Playground games for kids like singing games and Simon Says are great ways to teach music with a dose of physical exercise. Have kids do fun dance moves along with songs from your musical curriculum!
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Find more about the author: Kim Hart