Global School Day of Play: Recognizing the Importance of Unstructured Play and Outdoor Fun

No matter where you live, Wednesday, Feb. 7, should be a day for play!

Since its 2015 inception, more than 1.5 million students from 75 countries have participated in the Global School Day of Play, an annual February event that recognizes play as an essential aspect of childhood development.

On Global School Play Day, school leaders and others are encouraged to allow children ample time for free play without the use of screens, structured games, or adult direction. The goal is to let children explore their creativity, problem-solving skills, and social interactions in an unstructured and spontaneous environment.

By heading outside and embracing the playground, children gain invaluable skills. This hands-on experience fosters creativity, enhances physical fitness, and improves social interactions. It’s a holistic approach to education that benefits both the mind and body.

Outdoor play during the school day has been linked to better concentration, improved mental health, and a more engaged learning experience. It’s a natural way for children to explore, imagine, and connect with their environment. In a world increasingly dominated by screen time and indoor activities, the Global School Day of Play serves as a much-needed reminder of the thrills and benefits of outdoor play.

Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that active students are better learners and that recess increases students’ physical activity and improves educational outcomes. Recess impacts:

Academic achievement outcomes:

  • Better grades and test scores
  • Better classroom behavior
  • Better school attendance
  • Improved memory, attention, and concentration

Social and emotional outcomes:

  • Improved ability to share and negotiate
  • Better social interactions
  • Increased school connectedness
  • Improved school climate

The allocation of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding provides a timely opportunity for schools across America, as the funding can be used to enhance play spaces, ensuring they are not only fun but also safe and inclusive. ESSER III funds must be committed by Sept. 30, 2024, and district leaders have flexibility when it comes to how best to use the funds to meet the needs of their school communities.

Improving a playground is challenging, especially if it’s the first time you’re making an upgrade. The representatives at Miracle Recreation are experts at helping you navigate your school playground project.

At Miracle Recreation, we design our outdoor playground equipment for schools with fun and challenging play experiences in mind, while also adhering to safety standards. We work alongside you to give kids thrilling, yet safe and secure options for them to explore and have fun. Our custom elementary school and middle school playground equipment fits all ages, terrains and budgets.

Use your remaining ARP (American Rescue Plan) ESSER funds on a new playground and bring the miracle of play to your school and community.

To get started, find a local Miracle Recreation sales representative near you.