2013 Healthy Playground Makeover

by Allison McDonald | November 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm | comments

How many times have you heard a parent or teacher say, “Use your indoor voice. We don’t throw balls inside.We don’t climb on furniture!” My guess is- a lot. There is a reason for that – children need to climb and move and throw and, yes, even yell sometimes. If their playgrounds are old, run down or even worse, unsafe, it makes it that much more difficult for young kids to have a chance to work that outside energy off and focus when they are inside.

Sporting equipment doesn’t just teach kids how to become the next MLB all-star or Olympic gymnast, it also teaches cooperation, teamwork, gross motor skills and coordination. Play is essential, but without equipment its potential can’t be reached.

Making kids’ outside time more fun, safe and more interesting will make the rest of their day more productive, too. Together Counts, along with Playworld Systems and Good Sports, is helping to get kids more active outdoors while at school through its annual Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes!

Two grand prize winners will be chosen to win a new playground and $30,000 of sporting equipment. Just think of what a difference this would make to a school! School boards everywhere are so strapped. My son is fortunate enough to be in a well-funded district, and even they are cutting corners because they have to. Thanks to The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, Playworld Systems and Good Sports initiative, two lucky schools won’t have to cut corners with active play inside and out anymore.

So how we can make this happen for some lucky kids? Enter Here.

Don’t forget that the playground is all about having fun. Here are three great playground games, perfect for the next trip.

1) Lava Land – Get from point A to point B without touching the ground.

2) Velcro Hide and Seek – There is only one person who is seeking and everyone else hides. As the seeker finds people, they have to stick to the hider until all seekers become hiders.

3) Shape Spies – Just like eye spy but with shapes. Playgrounds are packed with great shapes and there is no rule against a little math while on the playground. Make it a challenge by requiring kids to touch the shape when they guess. That will add in some active play to it too.

Check out some of the other fantastic ways that Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and Together Counts promote energy balance at school, including free lesson plans.

Allison has been teaching various audiences since 1993. After having her first son she decided to share her love of teaching through the world of blogging and started the site No Time for Flash Cards. Her site is meant to inspire parents with creative ideas to bring the classroom into their own home. 

For more playground resources check out the great links below: