Let's Play!: Promoting Active Playgrounds

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Kids love recess and playground time. But some kids have not developed the skills they need to take part in physical activities on the playground, and those kids are often left standing alone on the side, watching others play. The children are left inactive and isolated, which can lead to long-lasting negative effects on their self-esteem.

Let’s Play! Promoting Active Playgrounds will help you make sure that no kids are left on the sidelines watching and waiting for the bell or for a parent to pick them up. Not all kids automatically have, or learn, the skills they need to be active and have fun on the playground. But through Let’s Play! , you can ensure that every child under your care has a repertoire of movement skills to be active on the playground.

This book will help you

  • • know the activities that children ages 3 to 8 typically play on the playground,
  • • assess the specific skills they need to take part in those activities,
  • • recognize kids who are left out of the activities or choose to withdraw from them, and
  • • help those kids to acquire the skills they need to be part of the playground action.
Let’s Play! offers simple tips for teaching playground skills and games. It includes an assessment protocol that uses kids’ own reports of their activity—something they find fun because of the illustrations and you’ll find useful because of what you learn about their preferences and achievements. This is the first book to provide such an assessment protocol of gross motor play on the playground; with it, you can screen 30 kids in 30 minutes.

In addition, Let’s Play! offers a CD-ROM bound in the book, which includes 30 illustrated forms that you can print to put this practical children’s play development system into action immediately.

Let’s Play! will help you make a difference in children’s lives. Through this book and CD-ROM package, you can assume a vital role in ensuring that every child has the opportunity to participate in playground activities. Children spend less time being active at home, so Let’s Play! will help kids increase their physical activity and reduce their likelihood of obesity. This resource will also help kids make friends on the playground and become active in the social groups that form during unstructured free time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736070010
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Pages: 106
  • Age range: 5 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Watkinson, PhD, is the dean of faculty of kinesiology and recreation management at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Before her role as dean, she was the associate dean academic from the faculty of physical education and recreation at the University of Alberta in Edmonton Alberta. Dr. Watkinson earned the McCalla Award from the University of Alberta and CAHPER Scholar Award during her career. In her free time, she enjoys playing squash, racquetball, and the piano.

About the Illustrator

Terry Watkinson earned the challenging BSc degree in medical illustration and went on to teach surgical illustration and perspective for the University of Toronto’s biomedical communications program. His illustrations are featured in many medical textbooks and journals. Terry is now an artist and illustrator living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where he creates a brilliant sense of light, depth, and emotion in his spectacular wilderness scenes and cityscapes.

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Table of Contents


How to Use This Book and CD-ROM



Chapter 1. Understanding the Value of Play

Physical Benefits

Social Benefits

What Can Adults Do to Help?

The Uniqueness of Each Child and Each Situation



Chapter 2. Understanding What Motivates Children to Participate on the Playground

Do I Want to Do This?

Can I Do This?

Am I Good Enough?

Encouraging Participation



Chapter 3. Understanding Assessment

Why Assess?

Assessing Participation

Assessing Skills



Chapter 4. Using the Playmap to Assess Participation

The Playmap

Self-Report Method

Interpreting the Results

Observation Method

Interpreting Observations of a Single Child



Chapter 5. Using the Playlist to Assess Skills

Step 1: Choose Activities to Assess

Step 2: Determine the Current Skill Repertoire

Step 3: Use Prompts to Determine Possible Skills

Step 4: Choose Skills to Teach



Chapter 6. Teaching Playground Skill

Direct Instruction Model

Environmental Prompts

Verbal Prompts

Visual Prompts

Physical Prompts

Using Prompts and Direct Instruction

Teaching Ball Skills



Chapter 7. Facilitating Effective Practice

Structuring Practice

Encouraging Self-Regulated Practice

Practicing Different Versions of the Same Skill

Practicing Different Skills Together



Chapter 8. Teaching in a Positive Climate

Performance Climates

Mastery Climates

Competitive and Cooperative Activities



Chapter 9. Playing Games

Tag: A Universal Game

Tag Variations

Games Using Tag Concepts

Teaching Tag Skills





About the Author

About the Illustrator

How to Use the CD-ROM

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