Dull play areas linked to bullying

Polly Curtis, education editor
Monday October 8, 2007
The Guardian

Boring playgrounds could be fuelling bullying in schools, a charity warns today after a survey suggested that many parents think their child's schools lacks green space. According to one in five parents polled, schools lack proper spaces for sports, and one in six children are bored at break times.

The poll of 1,100 parents paid for by the the charity Learning Through Landscapes and the Royal Bank of Scotland revealed that children still play traditional games of "kiss chase" and "it" but that many parents believe that teachers' fear for children's safety is hampering play, with 57% of parents agreeing that children are "too wrapped-up in cotton wool in the playground".

Catherine Andrews, chief executive of Learning Through Landscapes, said: "Children often engage in bullying or negative behaviour because they are bored. A proven solution is to engage them in more stimulating play.

"School grounds have the potential to offer a limitless range of experiences and opportunities. However, the design of the grounds will determine what children do in them."

More on dull playgrounds and bullying....

A popular alternative to so called "dull" playgrounds is spreading throughout the United States called Peaceful Playgrounds. It utilizes what most schools have already, blacktop and grass areas, to add 100 painted games and markings to the playground.