Posted by Karen Couchman, Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Besides providing and asthetically pleasing and engaging environment for children, these play ground markings "increase physical activity and decrease bullying and playground confrontations." (Webster, Hogan and Vega - 2004). Many schools have commented that following the application of activity marking there has been an improvement in playground behaviour. Studies in Australia and overseas highlight that "75% of bullying in schools has been found to occur on the playground" (Smith & Sharp, 1991) the suggested causes is boredom or lack of stimulus.
"Children with little to do during their playtime may resort to seeking adventure through various forms of illicit play - for example, fighting, teasing and annoying other children" (Evans, 1989)
Results from the National Survey of (British) schools (Batchford 1998) show that there is a general view among staff in one in four schools tha behavior at break times has deteriorated, with an increase of aggression and more difficult behavior. The study concluded that children today tend to be less constructive in play, more likely to be idle in the playground and have forgotten many of the once traditionally played games. This lack of purpose can quiet often be the root of many bullying problems.
Playground activity also has beneficial results on the health of our youngsters. Obesity amongst children is on the rise and is becoming a dire social problem. A study carried out by Stratton (2000) on the effects of playground markings on children's physical activity levels, "found an increase in both moderate and vigorous activity levels from 27 to 45 minutes using playground markings". Some of the spin off benifits from physical activity included greater concentration and increased self-esteem go a long way towards helping our youngsters develop into well balanced happy young adults.