How to Encourage Phonics Learning on the Playground
Phonics learning is an incredibly important part of every child’s education. Literacy skills, learned at an early age, can help children understand the world around them a little easier. What’s more, the younger we start to learn about letters and numbers, the sooner we are able to start developing further skills.
Children who get to grips with phonics early on in life will have more opportunities waiting for them as they grow into young adults and beyond. Phonics lessons and checks don’t have to be restricted to the classroom, either.
With the right markings and zones, you can even encourage phonics education at play. It’s all down to using the right markings and encouraging children with fun, creative activities!
Playground Letter Markings
Playground letter markings can be used to help children understand and appreciate the written and spoken alphabet while at play. You’ll be able to arrange games and activities around the 26 letters of the alphabet, and children will also be able to explore them on their own under supervision.
Encouraging children to learn while at play – outside of the classroom environment – can be very rewarding. What’s more, it is hugely beneficial to their development in reading skills and other areas. You can create games involving letter sounds helping children to read words and pronounce them.
Playground letter markings can be applied either via weather-resistant, wetpour rubber surfacing or through thermoplastic markings. The thermoplastic shapes can be scribed directly onto traditional tarmac. While surfacing and marking of years gone by would flake and fade over years of use, these modern standards are designed to weather the years to come.
Paint and mark your playground in bright, bold lettering to a template or to your own design. Encourage children to explore the written and spoken word while they play. It won’t feel like a lesson at all – for them, that’s the best part!
Reading and Storytelling Areas
Kids love stories, and adults love telling them! Why not take your pupils outside of school on a clear day for storytime in the playground! Play areas don’t just have to have designated zones for physical play.
They can also have areas and plots painted out where you can encourage quiet listening or even interactive storytelling. Once again, it’s all down to how you mark the area.
With modern playground markings and surfacing, you can encourage this form of phonics education by designing a themed area of your playground, or by clearly marking it with vibrant writing and cute characters. To really appeal to kids, you could also install themed seating or toys which can help to bring the magic of storytelling alive.
Setting up a reading and storytelling area for children is all about encouraging kids to use their imagination, even when they are out of the classroom. What’s more, storytime areas encourage phonics education – you can encourage children to join in on stories, to feedback, or even to tell their own tales.
This area of phonics focuses on the forming of words and sentences, as well as, learning to read, the exploration of characters and other themes. You don’t have to set up anything too complex! Kids love simple fun.
Check out National Storytelling Week to learn more about these activities for your school!
Mark Making Equipment
If there’s one thing children love doing, it’s making their mark. Blend phonics and the creative desire together with outdoor toys and equipment. You could set up your school playground space with blackboards, chalkboard paint and magnetic letters. You could lead active play sessions with phonics teaching thrown in!
What’s more, toys and tools which promote literacy can also be used safely with minimal supervision. Allow children to express themselves through words and stories and rhymes. Supplying children with the tools to write, read back and create is a great way to boost the phonics experience.
Not everyone learns well by reading from a book or a whiteboard. Lots of children prefer to learn by ‘doing’ – or by exploring ideas for themselves. Why not give them a helping hand? Mark making equipment may hold the answer.
Performance and Creative Games
A great way to encourage learning through fun is, of course, to create games. Games and activities involving words, guessing ideas, characters and themes, and performance, will help your pupils explore their own sense of creativity. What’s more, these games and activities offer safe, healthy ways for children to express themselves.
Phonics in the playground can be encouraged through designated dance or performance areas, along with toys and supplies which can be used to assist in building fun, non-competitive games. Once again, wetpour graphic designs and playground markings can help a lot. Markings, lettering and numbers will help young children to visualise ideas.
Older children will feel more at ease when it comes to exploring creative ideas and games. Therefore, the right markings, designs, letters and numbers should be able to encourage a wide array of children of all ages.
Whether children enjoy performing with words, music, dance or otherwise, the right stages, toys and tools can really help to boost their confidence. They can help to build phonics skills and gain knowledge of the English language, too.
The Benefits of Learning Phonics Through Play
Most of us likely learned most of what we know through experience, and through doing things we enjoy. Children need a little extra help. Phonics is so essential at a young age, however, it can sometimes be tricky to encourage little ones to play along.
Through play, children can explore concepts of phonics and can learn new skills and ways to express themselves. With boundless energy and curiosity, they will be happy to engage with fun lesson plans and activities. Teaching and encouraging child development should never be restricted to stuffy classrooms and boring lesson plans.
Children love to play and to explore. You can encourage phonics development with the help of brilliant, colourful playground markings, and equipment and toys they will love to come back to again and again. You need to create a safe, fun and inspiring place where children can laugh, learn and grow.
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Think carefully about how you are introducing children to phonics. Could you develop your playground to bring phonics into everyday play? Give it a try!