Organisation is an important skill for children to master in school. It affects how they work in lessons and will also be something they take with them into adulthood.
Many playground activities can help teach organisation through fun and education. Check out some ideas for incorporating organisation skills into play below.
1. Sorting and Categorising Games
The activities will involve finding similar items and grouping them together into categories. Children could do this outside by collecting up pebbles, leaves twigs or even outdoor toys like building blocks.
They can then separate these and categorise them by size, shape and colour. This kind of activity makes use of natural features already in the playground. It also offers a simple way to practise counting and sorting.
2. Tidying Toys Away
Having storage facilities for toys in the playground is a great way to save space. It also gives kids the chance to practise organising themselves. Encouraging the children to tidy things away after playing will teach responsibility. It also keeps the outdoor space in order and prevents equipment from being lost.
Large storage sheds or benches with integrated storage offer the perfect place to keep outdoor toys safe. You could also categories the different types of equipment together. This means they can be easily found if someone wants to use them. For example, building blocks in one section, balls in another, skipping ropes in another etc.
Different pieces of furniture on the playground can help with storage. These are multifunctional as children can use them for seating and storing toys.
3. Time Management Activities
Managing time is a key skill for children to master during their school years. From knowing what time to get up in the morning, to knowing how long each lesson is, it’s important to stay on schedule.
There are plenty of outdoor activities which can incorporate time management. Here are a few ideas you could try at your school.
You could use stopwatches and sand timers to keep track of the time. Then ask children to complete a task within a certain time limit. This can become a team game where different groups compete and see who has the fastest time.
Activities you can do against the clock include completing puzzles, building things, making up scenes to act out, and loads more.
Sports with Time Goals
Another way you can incorporate time management is through sports and physical activity. Ask each child to time how long it takes them to run a certain distance or complete an obstacle course.
This doesn’t have to be competitive, but it can give the children a chance to set their own goals and beat them next time. It’s more about improving on their own time rather than trying to beat others.
4. An Organised Playground Design
Another way of maintaining order in the play area is to have a specific place for each type of equipment. This way, children can travel around the playground doing different activities.
It also gives the quieter kids a chance to sit and relax, while more sporty kids can enjoy playing physical games.
Some examples of different playground zones might include:
- A sports area with line markings, goals ends, basketball hoops etc.
- Obstacle course or adventure area with climbing and balancing equipment.
- Seating area for relaxing, chatting and quiet activities.
- Space for playing with small toys like building blocks.
- An area with a sandbox and water table for discovery play.
You don’t have to have a separate space for all these things in your school play area. But splitting up the playground helps create a more organised layout. This way children can choose which activities they want to do during their break. Then they can switch between different games at playtime.
The Importance of Organisation
Organisational skills help children find order and routine in their daily lives. This helps them create a consistent structure, and see patterns and groupings between different items.
Being organised helps to improve performance in lessons as well as the development of other important skills. It’s also a way of developing self-regulation and creating improvements in behaviour. So kids can manage their own time and behaviour without constant adult supervision.
There are plenty of ways to encourage organisation and structure on the playground. Why not try to implement some of our tips and see how these can benefit your pupils.