Everybody loves games. Mental and physical, friendly and competitive, there’s just something fun about getting your head around a set of rules and then working within them to achieve a goal.
And this is especially true for kids. Learning through play is a fundamental part of childhood development, which is why it’s so important to have opportunities throughout playgrounds and schoolyards for kids to be able to express themselves through play.
Giant outdoor game-boards are a terrific way to meet this goal. It challenges kids to think, learn and be active outdoors, all while having an absolute blast.
We’ve collected a list of our top 5 favorite games, alongside their educational benefits, to help you decide if any of them might be right for your school or playground.
1. Giant Chess (or checkers)
Chess has been around for over 1500 years, and for good reason. It’s a game that transcends language and culture, carrying a hefty number of mental and personal benefits along with it.
It develops and refines patience, concentration, mathematic and learning ability, whilst also enhancing social and interpersonal skills. And making the chess board ten times bigger means the benefits are ten times as apparent!
Well, not really… but it does make the game a whole lot of fun.
2. Giant Scrabble
The developmental benefits of scrabble might seem obvious, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worthwhile.
Spelling can be hard for kids at the best of times, but when it’s part of a mega-sized game with some friendly competition, it kicks the brain into gear in a new way. Scrabble is also great for enhancing vocabulary, focus, and memory.
3. Jumpa Word
Jumpa Word is an outdoor game of our own design (@Kelly, is this right? I couldn’t find it on google) which brings together spelling and outdoor activities in a fun, engaging way.
The concept is simple, jump between letters to spell different words. But the act of jumping and the vibrant colors of the game board create a vivid visual memory for kids, greatly improving their spelling ability.
4. Four Square
A classic feature of the Australian schoolyard, four square has an array of physical and mental benefits that are often invisible to those who play it.
Especially for younger kids who are still developing physically., four square is great for generating better hand-eye coordination, balance, agility and also social skills like cooperation and self-control.
Most of us are used to Twister as a plastic mat we unfurl on the lounge room floor, but a permanent installation in the schoolyard is arguably a better way to play the game; you get the benefit of sunshine, and you can grip better on asphalt than plastic.
But regardless of the preferred way to play, Twister is a great way for kids to strengthen their core muscles, improve their balance and have the experience of focusing while under physical exertion. This leaves them stronger, more agile, and with a better connection between their mind and body.
We hope you can see from the list that learning and play shouldn’t be seen as separate things, but are actually two side of the same coin of childhood experience.
If any of these games have piqued your interest, or you’d like to know more about some of the other line-marking services we offer, then please use the contact form to get in touch.
We’d love to chat about what you’re looking for and provide you with a fast, free quote.