Do you remember playing hopscotch as a kid? I do. We had some playground markings in our primary school dedicated to the game in the 1980s and, boy, were they popular! The girls would line up to play every recess, and we'd scour the grounds for suitable tokens to use – a gumnut, river pebble or acorn would usually suffice.
Little did we know it at the time, but all that hopscotching was great for our strength and coordination skills. We were building up our leg muscles by hopping to our heart's content and learning to control our bodies as well. And we learned so much about the politics of getting along with others.
You see, play is genuinely vital for kids – it sets us up for life. It supports and encourages mental and physical health, boosts social skills and occupies busy minds. A schoolyard or playground that inspires productive, enjoyable and imaginative play is one of the most important things we can do to instigate learning.
In the past, we counted ourselves lucky to have a hopscotch court laid out for us in the schoolyard, in addition to the sad looking jungle gym and swing – we had to use our imaginations for everything else.
Nowadays, there are so many more brilliant ideas for school line markings than we used to have when I was little. Let's take a look at some of the best:
- Footprint markings. These standard, simple school line markings can have a fantastic effect on children, teaching them to develop coordination, mental agility, and helping them count.
- Bright colours. Studies show using bright hues encourages children to play more and keeps them more engaged – and that means more learning opportunities.
- Sports courts. Professional sports line marking is an integral part of every gym and court across the country. Think about it – what would popular sports activities be like without lines to tell us what was ‘in' and what was ‘out'?
- Clock circles. Little ones can learn to tell the time beautifully with a colourful playground line clock – and it’s a great addendum to a game of “What’s the time Mr Wolf?”
- Brightly painted compasses will have children confidently reciting the four directions (and more) in no time.
- ABC caterpillars. What more fun way to learn your ABCs can you imagine than actively reciting them while stepping from segment to segment? Beats reciting them in class!
- Snakes and ladders. When transcribed into playground line marking this game can foster enhanced mathematical skills.
- Multiplication grids. Here’s another way to spice up dreaded classroom rote learning – take the lesson out into the sunshine!
- Chess is the ultimate game of strategy – give children a headstart in this most sought after skill and your school could spawn the world’s next grandmaster.
- Fun mazes. Challenge kids’ developmental skills via play with an entertaining, boldly coloured maze – designed to encourage problem-solving, coordination and logic.
- Treasure maps. Who doesn’t love a pirate game? Facilitate imaginative play with an exciting pirate themed adventure to boost recreational time.
- World maps. Give geographical knowledge a boost and foster a sense of wonder about the world.