Children's playgrounds aren't very interesting without anything to do. But playground equipment doesn't come cheap. Classics like slides, swings and monkey bars are great, but, with a limited budget, it's not always possible to fill the space with activities.
A useful option if you have empty space in a park is to use line markings to encourage children to play. This traditional form of playground game is still loved by kids today and is a great way to stimulate their imaginations and ability to play creatively. Here are some ideas for line markings to get them going.
One of the oldest, most traditional playground games that is still around is hopscotch, and it has been played by generations of kids. All you need to paint is the numbers one to ten in squares, in alternating rows of one or two. There are lots of variations in rules and you can even get creative with the layout, but however it's played, kids love it.
Snakes and ladders
A classic board game that can be played on a giant scale on the playground floor. The idea is to get to the end of the board, which has tiles laid out in a square formation. The twist is that, if you land on a ladder, you move up to the top on a higher row, and if you land on a snake, you move downwards.
Using straight, wiggly and zig-zagging lines, you can create a course for children to follow. You can use symbols or words to provide instructions – run, crawl, hop, etc – and children will get plenty of exercise as they follow the track.
A maze is a fun way to get children thinking and moving. Include lots of dead ends to keep it interesting, and you can add pictures and symbols to encourage imaginative play.
A map of the world helps teach children geography skills while getting them running and jumping around. There are plenty of structured games that can be played on a map, or you can just let them get on with playing freely.
Painting a large target on the ground gives kids a great way to practice throwing, whether it's with a ball, a bean bag or even just small pebbles. Children like a bit of competition and are sure to love finding out who can get closest to the middle.