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Playgrounds are essential to student learning: podcast

School playgrounds are shrinking and some schools across Australia, particularly in metropolitan cities, have been left with less ‘play space’ per student than a prison cell, reports show.

According to Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Education at Charles Sturt University, Brendon Hyndman, the lack of space can impact children’s health, socialisation skills and attention span. 

“Playgrounds are an opportunity for kids to think away from the strict classroom routines. They've got a place to be themselves, to escape, play with others, use their imagination and be creative,” Hyndman told Education Review.

Schools with a squeezed playground can help their students to move more with some creativity, the associate professor said, and develop obstacle courses, cooperative games or simply allow them to be active in the classroom.

“It might be simple things like breaking up the classes, and having microbursts of activity with music where they can move.”

Hyndman joined Education Review to discuss the impact of small playgrounds and shared tips on making the most of the space available.


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