Who says December has to be dull?
As the festive season approaches students start to dream of their holidays and disengage from learning becoming even more energised than normal.
Why not take this opportunity to channel the holiday energy into playground projects on the school playground for all to enjoy?
1. Merry Maths!
Engage your students in maths with fun Christmas games or just help them enjoy learning the holidays in your outdoor classroom using unique holiday decorations to engage their wonder this festive season.
One of the many reasons why art is important is its ability to reach across the curriculum to help children learn a whole range of important lessons. These arts and craft ideas are great for teaching simple and more complex mathematic concepts to children of all ages this December.
No two snowflakes are alike, but they all show an amazing geometric phenomenon- symmetry! This craft just requires white craft paper and safety scissors for your students to develop a deeper understanding of shapes.
Simply get the students to fold a square of paper in half three times and cut random and crazy shapes into the side. This may seem strange, but when unfolded they reveal … a beautiful, symmetrical paper snowflake! Hang these marvellous creations up in your outdoor classroom, playground shelter or school canopy to start to build your very own winter wonderland and demonstrate symmetry in a memorable and practical way.
Early learning classes need a fun way to introduce the idea of sums to young kids, you can do this with snowmen on the school playground! By turning your school playground into a giant chalkboard or using one of our arts and crafts play panels, children can learn through art!
Placing sums inside of snowmen drawings can help kids visualise maths more easily. As as visual learners make up the largest learner group, this can be a new way to introduce the concept. Writing a part of an equation in each of the snowman segments and encouraging students to find out and write the solution in the third really gets them involved in maths. They can even create and practice their own sums together on our giant chalkboard play panel once they gain confidence!
2. Grotto in the Gazebo
Making easy festive decorations like paper doll chains or colourful craft paper chains made of multi-colour loops can really help turn any outdoor classroom into a winter wonderland! Why not expand this to create a special holiday space in your playground shelter.
The School Playground Company offers many different types of school canopies and gazebos for schools, any of which would make a wonderful place for a Santa’s Grotto. Spend time to get to know your kids this festive season by asking what they would like for Christmas, or what their wishes for the New Year are. This personal involvement is great for their wellbeing by making them really feel like part of the school community and get them excited for the holidays.
This can also become a great space to wind down at the end of the day. Gather the children round to read them classic holiday stories and poems like ‘The Night Before Christmas’, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’, or ‘The Stick Man’.
Creating an imaginative space to explore story-telling, and even coming up with tales of their own is the best way to make learning memorable and immersive. Here at the School Playground Company, we offer many of these outdoor classroom and imaginative spaces, so check out some of our similar playground projects for inspiration all year round.
So put up your tinsel and get students into your outside classroom for some fresh air and holiday cheer!
3. Sandy Snowmen
Even if we are not guaranteed a white Christmas this year, don’t let kids miss out on the dream of building a snowman. Sandmen building can be a way to wake them from that November nap and get involved with your classroom holiday games and lessons.
Building something for themselves helps young children learn about the world around them. Sensory learning is vital to development of motor skills and when working with others, communication and problem solving- morphing their learning into a 3D experience.
Our play sand is a great school playground idea for primary schools, add a little water and kids can mould Sandmen or other imaginative creations easily. Providing additional decorations like pipe-cleaners and googly eyes can also really encourage imaginative play.
4. Playground Performances
Musical play is very important for developing minds, and the festive season offers so many opportunities for kids to express themselves. Musical educational play equipment is offered among our sensory equipment offerings. This is a great playground idea for primary schools to provide students with a safe environment to express their creativity and develop a love for music!
All of our musical playground equipment sets contain chime trees, which create bell like noises. Sound can help kids get immersed in imagination and story-telling. Combine sound into your reading in the grotto by using chimes to simulate Santa’s reindeer as they appear on the rooftops in ‘The Night Before Christmas’.
Getting classes together to sing holiday classics with the musical play sets involves students in music creation and festive fun, bringing joy to the playground.
5. Enjoy Exercise
In the bleak midwinter it’s more important than ever to keep the blood pumping and stay active! Playground equipment where kids can clamber, run, jump and swing is great to work off all of that holiday excitement (and holiday sweets!).
Remaining active has been seen to improve concentration in students returning to the classroom, so it is beneficial to their learning and enjoyment to take the recommended 60 minutes of exercise each day. Just make sure they wrap up warm!
Our Active Play range of playground equipment can provide a wide variety of opportunities for fun activity at break times. We are also proud to offer inclusive playground equipment and wheelchair accessibly playground flooring to get all kids involved in activity and enjoying the great outdoors.