Monday, May 10, 2010

Including All Children on the Playground

The American Journal of Occupational Therapy published research in 2008 on children's interaction on the school playground. Twenty children were videotaped for 11 weeks on a school playground. The children participated in extended recess with loose parts or materials such as bicycle tires, hay bales, fabric, trash can lids, strips of foam and more. Following the 11 week intervention, teachers were interviewed and the Test of Playfulness indicated significantly higher scores. In addition, teachers reported increased socialization, creativity, cooperation and resiliency in the children. Teachers observed that children of varying abilities were more likely to play together. Some teachers mentioned that children who did not usually participate in sports activities were leaders for the creative activities.

Reference: Bundy AC, Luckett T, Naughton GA, Tranter PJ, Wyver SR, Ragen J, Singleton E, Spies G.Playful interaction: occupational therapy for all children on the school playground. Am J Occup Ther. 2008 Sep-Oct;62(5):522-7.

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