In September 2015, Armstrong School in St. James, MN added new active playground activities to improve their playground climate, and it wouldn’t have been possible without help from the 60+ volunteers and church youth group members.
Armstrong School had a blank tar area that was transformed into a painted area with spinning circles for use with the SMART strategies, a maze, a running track, a trike track, hopscotch, and many more games to keep students active during their recess time and physical education time. Teachers and playground staff educate students on how to play the games. Not only is the area used for recess, but teachers at Armstrong also bring their students outside whenever the weather allows. Sue Harris, Community Education Director commented, “children need to have downtime in between cognitive practice, and these playground additions are perfect activities to serve as brain breaks.”
Playtime and class time are equally as important in helping students perform their best. Painted playgrounds are a low-cost strategy that can help engage children in active play during recess time as well as a great tool for teachers to utilize during the school day!