The NGC is a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. NGC is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NGC was originally created by AHRQ in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans (now America’s Health Insurance Plans [AHIP]).
There is little consistent data available on time spent by elementary and middle school students in MVPA while on the playground. Estimates range from 5% to 40% depending on the age and gender of the child.
Several studies have shown that the following low cost interventions on playgrounds can increase MVPA. While research remains somewhat limited, these interventions are easy to implement, show positive results, and are low in cost.
To increase time spent in MVPA during unstructured recess time:
- Have the physical education teacher instruct all students on proper use of playground equipment.
- Offer prompts and encouragement for activity. Suggested prompts to engage students:
- How many times can you jump the rope in one minute?
- How many times can you go across the horizontal ladder?
- How many baskets can you make in one minute?
- Increase the available permanent equipment on the playground, such as basketball hoops, volleyball nets, tennis courts.
- Increase the number of balls on the playground.
- Paint playground equipment with bright fluorescent colors.
- Paint playground markings on the playground surface. Examples: letter squares, mazes, hopscotch squares, castles, pirate ships, ladders, giant clock faces.
- Use pre-developed design templates, specifically designed to increase physical activity on the playground.
“Peaceful Playgrounds is a recommended program for playground markings that increase children’s physical activity levels at recess.”
Increasing physical activity in schools: kindergarten through eighth grade
The Vermont Healthy Schools Resource for Physical Activity – The Vermont Department of Health and Education & Action for Healthy Kids recommends Peaceful Playgrounds as a National Resource for school playground blueprints to help introduce children and school staff to the many choices of activities available on playgrounds and field areas.
The Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments – Strategic Alliance is a coalition of nutrition and physical activity advocates in California. School Activity Environments that provide equipment and playground facilities for active play.
Allegheny County Let’s Move in Schools– Raise Your Hand for Health. Your guide to school based health and wellness resources for Allegheny County, PA.
Promising Practices in After School National Award. The PPAS System is an effort to find and share things that are working in after school programs. Peaceful Playgrounds is a physical activity program that has shown to decrease playground injuries, decrease bullying, and increase children’s physical activity levels.
Peace and Justice Resource Center- Highlighting organizations and individuals, committed to work for peace in our community. Peaceful Playgrounds: an Elementary Teacher’s Guide to Recess Games and Markings.
Willmar Public School District – Steps to a Healthier Willmar is supporting the Peaceful Playgrounds program at Lincoln Learning Center and Jefferson Elementary School.
Add Stencils to Playground for Recess and Classroom Use! – I’m partial to Peaceful Playgrounds because of the wonderful activity books and training that accompanies the whole thing for the teachers. It also comes with sample press releases, specific instructions and fabulous customer service to answer those last minute painting questions!
“Since 1995, the Peaceful Playgrounds program has prevented broken limbs, bloody noses and other playground injuries at E. Hale Curran Elementary School.” – The program brings the Murrieta school a statewide award from the California School Boards Association .
Spotlight – Outstanding School Playground
Central Elementary School
Demonstrating their commitment to a safe, bully-free, respectful community that facilitates the social and emotional growth of children, Central Elementary School introduces an integrated approach that highlights Peaceful Playgrounds.
Recent Success Stories:
Field puts “Peace” of Mind into Playgrounds
Looking around the Field School playground, an observer can see a variety of activities going on–four square, scoop games, scattered circles, running bases and hopscotch. Disagreements are settled, not with loud arguments, but with constructive talk and sometimes “rock, paper, scissors.” This is Peaceful Playground at work. Last summer in sweltering heat, teachers, students, and parents collaborated to create the colorfully painted Field School Peaceful Playground. The purpose of Peaceful Playground is to provide activity for all students, ownership in civil behavior, and provide a safe recess time for every Field School student…
Awards & Endorsements
Healthy Schools Campaign – This independent leading authority held a nationwide search for new and innovative products to help create healthier school environments for students, staff and faculty. National School Innovation Showcase Winner
Action for Healthy Kids – A Nationwide Nonprofit Organization working to improve children’s nutrition and increase physical activity. Best in Class awarded by a panel of experts representing 27 national organizations and government agencies, based on ten criteria. Program Evaluation & Conclusions
The American Association of Leisure and Recreation National Award- The American Association for Leisure and Recreation Friend of Recreation Award (now SHAPE) is presented to an individual, group, or organization that has demonstrated meritorious contribution benefiting AALR or its programs.
California School Boards Association – CSBA believes that identifying exemplary programs serves as a way to share information about effective educational strategies with districts and county offices of education throughout the state. Golden Bell Award
Sharing Success – Sharing Success is publicly funded by the New York State Legislature to identify and disseminate successful educational programs and practices statewide. The Peaceful Playgrounds Program meets their rigorous evaluation standards.
“The Peaceful Playgrounds concept takes a resource most playgrounds already have – open space – and transforms blacktops and fields into play areas for different age groups with activities such as tetherball, wall ball, and Frisbee golf.” – Louisiana Department of Education”