Global School Day of Play: Playing to Learn

The Global School Day of Play is celebrated annually on the first Wednesday in February. The initiative was born in 2015 out of the idea that play is more than recreation; it is an important part of a child’s development.

During Global School Play Day, participants are encouraged to allow students ample time for free play without the use of screens, structured games, or adult direction. The idea is to let children explore their creativity, problem-solving skills, and social interactions in an unstructured and spontaneous environment.

By stepping outside the classroom and embracing the playground, children gain invaluable skills. This hands-on experience fosters creativity, enhances physical fitness, and improves social interactions. It’s a holistic approach to education that benefits both the mind and body.

Outdoor play during the school day has been linked to better concentration, improved mental health, and a more engaged learning experience. It’s a natural way for children to explore, imagine, and connect with their environment. In a world increasingly dominated by screen time and indoor activities, the Global School Day of Play serves as a much-needed reminder of the joys and benefits of outdoor play.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recess benefits students by:

  • Increasing their level of physical activity.
  • Improving their memory, attention, and concentration.
  • Helping them stay on-task in the classroom.
  • Reducing disruptive behavior in the classroom.
  • Improving their social and emotional development (e.g., learning how to share and negotiate).

CDR research shows that active students are better learners and that recess increases students’ physical activity and improves educational outcomes.

Academic achievement outcomes:

  • Better grades and test scores
  • Better classroom behavior
  • Better school attendance
  • Improved memory, attention, and concentration

Social and emotional outcomes:

  • Improved ability to share and negotiate
  • Better social interactions
  • Increased school connectedness
  • Improved school climate

The recent allocation of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding provides a timely opportunity for schools across America, as the funding can be used to enhance play spaces, ensuring they are not only fun but also safe and inclusive. ESSER III funds must be committed by Sept. 30, 2024, and district leaders have flexibility when it comes to how best to use them to meet the needs of their school communities. Improvements and enhancements to outdoor play equipment qualify for ESSER funds and benefit every student at your school.

Playworld Preferred offers the products you need to create an exciting school play space, including a variety of playground equipment, shade structures, safety surfacing, and site furnishings for when kids want to take a break from playing.

Contact Playworld Preferred today to discuss your school playground project.