Building Skill Through Play: Successful Game Participation

  1. Updates

At Playworks, games are integral to what we do and in order to have a successful game, you need student engagement and participation.

This November, our teams leaned into the skill of successful game participation, recognizing that game participation is about uplifting fun for all participants, not just individuals or game winners.

For young learners, we know that organized games can be stressful and intimidating. Children may experience feelings of fear and anxiety over not being invited to play a game, getting out or losing, and even not fully understanding the rules of a game or how to play. This can discourage many students from fully participating at recess and getting an important physical and mental break during the school day. This is where Playworks steps in and can make a major difference for student engagement at recess and throughout the school day!

Collaborative play at recess is pivotal to a positive school environment. Throughout November, Playworkers at our partner schools worked on grouping teams of students for games using creative strategies, uplifting the value of games being fun for all participants, and encouraging student use of positive, supportive language during game play. 

Through this method and intentionality, we are creating an opportunity for students to work together to accomplish one goal during a game. Games our school staff set up on the playground this month included Kickball, Cone Guardian, Magic Tag, Rhythm Detective, and Steal the Bacon. We encourage you to try some of these games as well! 

If you’re looking to create a more collaborative recess and a team mindset amongst your students, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are some of your preferred strategies for dividing students into teams? Do these strategies empower students in the process? Are they inclusive?

  • How can we encourage students to lean on each other and practice teamwork outside and inside?

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