Inclusive Play Five Days a Week

For over two decades, we’ve been bringing kids and school communities together with play.

On Playworks playgrounds, you won’t see kids sidelined. You’ll see high-fives, positive-reinforcement, and different students coming together to achieve a common goal.

Use this checklist to make your playground safer and more welcoming for all students.


Monday: Girls and Boys Playing Together

When it comes to playground activities, girls are often sidelined. With established game stations and clear boundaries between activities, every kid feels comfortable stepping up to join in a game. Here, we see a Junior Coach reminding students of the game’s rules and reinforcing positive behavior. That way, every kid who wants to join the foursquare game feels welcomed and included to play.


Tuesday: Positive Reinforcement from Adults

Positive interactions between kids and adults are key to creating an inclusive school environment. This coach helps a student retire from the game with grace by giving him a high-five and telling him, “Good job, nice try.” These simple acts can go a long way in making a child feel like he or she truly belongs. A high-five or a word of encouragement can empower kids to feel confident and help them jump back into the game.


Wednesday: Students Practicing Empathy

Playworks helps kids build valuable social and emotional skills, including empathy. Here, one student comforts and encourages another to stay in the game. When students model inclusive behavior, it spreads throughout the school community.


Thursday: Making Being “Out” Fun

Giving kids a new role in a game even when they are “out” is a simple and effective way to keep games going and keep everyone engaged. In this game of ro-sham-bo rockstar, students who lose make a cheering line behind the winner.


Friday: High-Fives All Around

The high-five is the ultimate sign of inclusive play. Students on Playworks’ playgrounds high-five not just to celebrate wins but to acknowledge effort and to create a positive culture on the recess yard. We see the kids above celebrating a football win. But more importantly, through one simple gesture, they are fostering a greater sense of belonging and trust with one another.

 

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