Playground Games: Ideas for Your School Playground Design

Children need a break in between lessons to be able to come back refreshed and ready to concentrate, but the learning doesn’t have to stop in the playground. In fact with the right set up, lessons can even take place outside. There are loads of playground designs that can help with maths skills whilst also allowing the little balls of energy to blow off some steam and develop their social skills at the same time.

We’ve made a list of playground games below including some old classics, some classroom favourites and some that are a bit more unusual. Traditionally these could be played by chalking them out on the tarmac, but with developments in rubber playground surfaces offering more protection for kids at play, it’s much safer to make them a permanent fixture. Our rubber safety tiles come in a variety of colours and designs and are fully customisable, so you can use any of the games below or make up your own.

Games to enhance the design of your playground surfaces

Hop scotch

No list of playground games would be complete without hop scotch. It’s been played in Britain for centuries and never loses its charm. Simply throw a stone or bean bag onto a number and hop and jump up the numbers and back again missing the selected number. Hop on the single numbers, jump on the doubles and work your way from one to nine. This game is great for young kids learning to count and offers a good deal of exercise.

Calculator Hop Scotch

This game developed from hop scotch but allows children to use more advanced numeracy skills. This time the markings resemble a calculator, the player throws a stone to land on the number one and then must jump onto squares to make up a sum with that answer, for instance beginning on the equals sign, then three, then the minus sign, then finishing on two. The player keeps playing until they make a mistake such as landing on the line or making an incorrect equation. The winner is the first person to work their way to nine. Players must hop with one foot on odd numbers and with two feet on symbols and even numbers.

100 Number Square

There is no end to the number of games that can be played on this board and it is an excellent tool for maths lessons. For instance teaching multiplication tables, odd and even numbers or working out prime numbers. You can make a game for working out prime numbers using bean bags to cross out the numbers which aren’t prime. Any number that is in a multiplication table cannot be prime, so start with 2 and get the kids to mark out the 2 times table and then the 3 times table and so on until all you have left are prime numbers. This is a great way to teach children who find it hard to concentrate in the classroom. Here’s a link to more things to do with 100 number squares.

Tic Tac Toe

This is another classic game that can be played in the playground by using bean bags as markers instead of a ‘0’ or ‘x’, or if you want to go rustic, sticks and stones. The winner is the first person to make a straight line in any direction. This is a good game to start developing childrens’ strategic thinking.

Tic Tac Toss

This is a variation on Tic Tac Toe, where instead of placing the marker to select a square, you throw it. If the marker lands on a line or on an occupied square the throw doesn’t count and the next player takes their turn.

Playground darts

An oversized dartboard is a great way to improve pupil’s maths skills and is played by throwing bean bags instead of darts. The great thing about the board is that you can play any game you would play on a real dartboard, so as well as 501 there are all the extra games people have dreamed up over the years, such as “around the clock” where each player takes it in turns to hit the numbers 1 to 20 and if you hit a double you skip a number and skip two numbers if you hit a triple. Plus, there’s nothing stopping you making up some new games to test your pupil’s maths skills.

Smith Brothers Limited is a leading manufacturer of Rubber Playground Tiles, which can be easily customised. They come in a range of thicknesses depending on your shock absorbing needs and we can help you work out what’s best for you. There is a variety of colours and designs to choose from, so you can scatter your playground with animals and games. Get in contact with us to talk through the options either by email or call 023 9238 7198.

Posted on 06 Mar 2014 by Smith Brothers
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