Play Action International was born out of children’s need to have a safe place to play and develop. Our programmes began with the design and construction of playgrounds at schools, which then evolved into supporting teachers to use the playground as an educational aid and enhance learning through the integration of play within the classroom. Our playgrounds are led by community design and built by local people using local materials. The schools where we have installed playgrounds and implemented our Educational Play programme, have reported higher levels of enrollment and attendance, better academic results and a general positive impact on children’s well-being and happiness.
74% of children said they want to come to school because of the playground
Play in the early years of life has a profound and long-lasting impact on a child’s health, well-being, and long-term development. Studies have shown that early play experiences improve a child’s physical growth, their capacity for learning, chances of finishing school, future employability, and even personal income (Playground Ideas, 2015).
Global research shows that play-based approaches in school increase high-school equivalent graduation by 44% and those achieving bachelor’s degrees by 17%. Indeed, evidence from our own Educational Play Programmes shows that play-based learning improves academic performance AND improves behaviour, reduces drop-outs and increases attendance. This is a cost-effective, sustainable solution with a far reaching impact. This is why so much of our work is focused on building the capacity of teachers to enhance their teaching through the greater use of play methods in their classrooms.
- Use high quality materials providing long lasting play opportunities (our playgrounds are guaranteed to last at least 10 years!)
- Are designed using play theory to encourage a diverse mix of engaging play for every child
- Adhere to safety standards in design and installation and are subject to a range of safety checks
- Are community designed – consulting with each community, playgrounds are designed to reflect the community’s identity
- Are well maintained and managed through the local playground committees that are founded with each playground
- Are constructed out of local materials, helping us to support the local community and economy even more
- Are constructed and installed by our local, highly skilled team and provide apprenticeship opportunities to former street-connected young people
As you can see from the way we work, the impact we have is wide-ranging. The children gain a wonderful playground that is safe and exciting to use, giving them their childhoods through play, and the local community and economy benefit too. Building a playground for a community really is a win, win in everyone’s books.