All children have different levels of ability in both physical and academic skills, so it’s important that schools create multi ability play areas in an environment which caters for various levels and gives support to each child individually.
With regards to physical skills, some children are naturally more inclined towards playing sports and games than others therefore it’s important to offer activities which suit each ability level and allow all children the opportunity to participate in physical activities.
Multi Ability Play Areas
Schools and nurseries should be able to provide fun outdoor play facilities which have different features designed for a range of activity levels and preferences amongst their pupils. Having a versatile recreational area with many different uses and games available will allow each child to play at their own pace and do something they enjoy without feeling intimidated by others. Ability levels can depend on things like the individual child, the situation they’re in and any other contributing factors which differ from day to day.
A child who is feeling unwell or upset on a particular day may prefer to play in a more comforting environment in a quiet activity rather than a challenging physical game. However another child who is looking for an exciting challenge may enjoy something different like climbing walls or a fast-paced team game. See this post for more ideas on the different types of equipment and activities schools can include.
Providing a fun and versatile outdoor play facility is a great way of helping children to develop social, physical and intellectual skills by playing with others in different activities and games. Ensuring that any playground equipment you have is accessible to as many children as possible will provide each child with the opportunity to play in a way that they enjoy without feeling like they have to keep up with others.
This way children who are less able or do not like certain activities will not be stigmatised or made to feel left out. The provision of good quality outdoor recreational areas has also been shown to have positive effects for children with behavioural issues, this is because it gives these children a way of releasing built up energy in a positive way, making concentration in lessons easier.
Inclusive Play Area Designs
There are a range of different designs available for multi-ability play areas which aim to include as wide a range of children as possible, depending on the needs of your school. You can create inclusive play area designs which offer many different options with physical and cognitive activities that children can get involved with.
Playground markings can be applied to an existing tarmac surface in a range of colours to create sports lines, educational games and cartoon characters. Each of these different graphics can be used in multiple ways to allow kids to take part in varied exercises both physical and mental. Find out more about school playground markings here if you are interested in the options we have.
Even if you have existing markings that you think are fairly basic, there will be many ways to utilise them and make them more efficient and beneficial for your school. In terms of equipment you can install sensory gardens which encourage exploration and discovery, these can have various elements which promote visual, tactile and auditory experiences as well as a range of other senses.
Other inclusive play area designs can include activity panels, sports surfaces, climbing walls and frames, swings, musical instruments and a wide range of other fun games and facilities.
As well as having multi ability play areas installed with various equipment and graphic markings, it’s important that teachers know how to properly utilise these facilities and get the most out of them for the kids. Specialist coaches can come into your school to help train your teachers and pupils in the best ways of using these outdoor areas to promote active learning and communication with others.
This could include showing you how to make the most efficient use of limited space, creating new games which allow children of different abilities and skill-sets to play together, and ensuring that each child has a fair chance and playing to their own pace and level.
If you would like more advice on the best ways of developing multi ability play areas at your school or nursery, please feel free to get in touch with us. We can offer assistance with designs, costs and installation of various play surfaces and equipment including safety flooring, markings and activity units. Fill in the contact form on this page with your details and a member of our team will get back to you with some further information to help you find what you’re looking for.