How outdoor play can be educational

How outdoor play can be educational

Play-Based Learning (PBL) allows children to organise and make sense of their social worlds as they actively engage with people, objects and representations.

While there is no one definition of play, there are a number of agreed characteristics that describe play, including active-play, which requires either physical, verbal or mental engagement with materials, people, ideas or the environment.

Indeed, research has shown PBL, including outdoor play, to be effective in improving students’ well-being as well as their educational outcomes.

Recognising this, Project Playgrounds – a thermoplastic playground markings company – combines literacy and numeracy into the designs of its products, providing students with an outdoor experience that it says is not only safer but also educational.

Originally designed in the UK for use as road marking material, Project Playgrounds’ UV-stable thermoplastic material has been developed and tested specifically for use in the playground.

Priya Commane, general manager of Project Playgrounds, said it is “easy to be fooled by inferior playground thermoplastic”.

“We are the only company that has developed this material over many years to a standard of upmost adhesion, colourfastness, durability and non-slip standards. Our designs are not painted on – they are there to stay,” Commane told The Educator.

Commane pointed out that the products are also Australian made in the company’s own factory, meaning that schools can save by avoiding the additional costs of having products imported.

“We also offer guarantees on our product and installation. As such we do not charge our customers for international freight nor do they need to pay extra to have a job completed in a tight timeframe,” Commane said.

“An investment with us will be sure to benefit generations of children while improving the aesthetics of your school or play space.”

Commane said the company’s designs are simple to access and arrange, and offer “real value for money”.

“No major planning is required and installation can occur throughout the school year with minimal disruption. We also have capacity to work with schools in getting our markings and designs installed during the upcoming holidays in time for the new term.”

“Our aim is to promote outdoor activity for students within the learning environment.
All of our standard designs [on our website] are very much numeracy and literacy focused.”

Commane said that the company has the technology to “go beyond standard designs”.

“Our customers are relishing the opportunity to have bespoke designs made to use as educational tools for their student's requirements,” she said.

“This includes using the area underneath the COLA for a dedicated maths or science space. We have also assisted schools by customising fun and innovative designs encouraging road safety and keeping students safe around the school.”

Related stories:
Ground-breaking school projects recognised
How school design affects student concentration
How chess is putting sagging grades in checkmate