Creating a Storytelling Area in Your Playground
Schools often have favourite activities which they promote a lot more. Ranging from athletics to garden trips, it really depends what school you go to. However, one activity that a lot of schools promote and that works incredibly well is story telling.
Today’s post will explore more about the activity and how you can incorporate it into your curriculum. Check out this previous post to learn more about National Curriculum play activities. Creating a storytelling area in your playground doesn’t have to be difficult or involve a lot of expensive equipment.
School Story Time Equipment
Creating an environment to tell stories must be done perfectly. You can choose different types of school story time equipment to suit what you need. You’ll want to create a relaxing space which also captures children’s imaginations. The aim of telling a great story is to get the audience (in this case, the pupils) to escape into the fantasy land being described. It may seem hard at first, but the equipment used during this time can really affect this point.
Firstly, the seats. Most story tellers sit on a big chair to give the illusion of fantasy and fairy-tale. This chair usually has a tall backrest and resembles some sort of throne which again, gives the impression of a fantasy setting and lets the kid’s imaginations go wild. However, it really is up to you for what kind of seating you do for the kids. A popular choice is little mushrooms as these usually gain the kids’ attention and engages them quickly and effectively.
It’s also a good idea to think about the surrounding areas on the playground. Maybe the floor surfacing could be a different material than just grass (like wetpour or rubber mulch) as the feeling of it will interest the children very quickly. Paintings/graphics of fantasy creatures will set the mood for the kids and will also ease their imagination into an active state to allow for a more engaging school story time.
How Storytelling Can Benefit Children
Storytelling allows children to fully immerse themselves in a fantasy world whilst gaining benefits for the real world. It explains why so many early year schools have story telling sessions and why it is encouraged so much amongst this age group. Here are some of the best benefits of telling stories can have on your pupils:
- Allows children to explore their own culture (as well as others)
- Broaden children’s ideas and method of thinking
- Kids can empathise with new people, places and situations
- Introduces differences and similarities between people
- Wisdom is common to all people and cultures
- Being nasty gets you nowhere whilst being nice can make you go far
- Morals are taught
Not only can story telling have benefits for individual pupils, but it can have a strong impact on the class, with positives like:
- Promotes feelings of well-being and relaxation
- Increasing children’s willingness to communicate their thoughts and feelings on certain matters
- Verbal proficiency increases over time
- Listening skills become a lot stronger
- Active participation is encouraged massively through the stories
- Use of imagination and creativity is more common meaning it becomes a lot stronger
- Cooperation between pupils is increased through the activity
Many may see story telling as just an act of entertainment and that it carries no benefits with it, but after noticing these points; you can see for yourself how much this simple activity can help children develop into stronger human beings whilst at the same time offering a lot of moments of laughter and smiles. Click here to see another article which talks about the benefits of telling stories.
Playground Storytelling Seating Area
Seating areas are commonly placed outside because the environment can help set the tone of the story, as well as all the health benefits that it carries. Ofsted also love these types of activities greatly due to it promoting outside teaching and how it gives another reason for classes to go outside and perform their activities there. Different types of school playground furniture can also be included in these areas.
As described before, seating areas often have one big chair (usually shaped like a throne) for the reader and a dozen small seats for the audience. Using this format allows children to understand who the storyteller is, and it grabs their attention visually, giving a stronger focus on the actual story itself. There are plenty of different designs options for a playground storytelling seating area if you are interested in something like this.
Atmosphere is incredibly important as reading a story in class may sound like a good idea but with all the surroundings being linked to education and boring, kids will instantly not feel engaged with the story and end up becoming bored as well. Outside however offers a different atmosphere for the kids and will get their attention a lot easier as the outsides atmosphere is a lot more exciting and unknown.
Reading Stories for Primary School Children
Children of primary school age will enjoy and learn from these activities as they are beginning to develop their reading and listening skills. More complex stories can be read however you must keep in mind that they are still children, and certain genres and books aren’t suitable still. There are many benefits of reading stories for primary school children as it can enhance many skills.
Obviously, books directed at adults don’t do well. It’s important to choose books which are age appropriate for the class so they don’t become bored or find it hard to follow the story.
Good stories to choose would be things like fantasy fiction. Children love to use their imagination at this age and will want to explore new worlds. Fictional creatures often interest the kids quicker as they must imagine how it looks and acts. Escapism is achieved a lot quicker through this type of story and therefore, children become a lot more endorsed and enjoy the activity a lot more.
Find Out More
There are plenty of options when it comes to creating a storytelling area in your playground. You can choose from a variety of coloured flooring designs along with seating and equipment to make the space even more exciting.
Get in touch with our team today to get more information on the designs and costs for installing a facility like this.