Playground Supervision Guide
In order to enhance the value of play, you must know how to positively support play in safer and more meaningful ways. Play has innate value for all children. As a playground supervisor, how you approach the supervision of the playground may impact children’s physical safety and the opportunities they may have to develop physically, cognitively, communicatively, emotionally, and socially. With diabetes, obesity, and social adjustment issues reaching epidemic proportions, playground supervisors can have a significant role in facilitating healthy, active outdoor play and learning. All of the small play events that take place during “play time” are the stepping stones that enrich a child’s life and pave the pathway to purposeful adulthood.
Determining the roles and responsibilities of staff while children are on the playground is essential to ensuring that opportunities are provided for play along a developmentally appropriate continuum of learning in a safer environment. While some staff may serve as supervisors, others may serve as play facilitators to engage more directly with children through guided discovery or perhaps by organizing group games or learning activities. It is important to provide opportunities for children to experience various types of play through child-initiated exploration during free play and more guided learning and directed play in which children develop important social rules while interacting with others on the playground. Facilitators may provide redirection, encourage social engagement, or provide materials or equipment for children to interact with. Providing opportunities for various types of play can offer a well-rounded environment that promotes hands-on learning and encourages the construction of ideas and knowledge, while still providing opportunities for choice, social and pretend play, and problem-solving.
We've developed a guide to help people learn how to supervise and structure playtime to create a perfect environment for children to play and grow!