Exercise is vital to the physical development of young children and playing outside gives the benefit of fresh air and more freedom.
I encourage the children in my care to join in all sorts of different physical activities and provide a range of equipment to make it fun and enjoyable.
In my garden I have a trampoline1 and slide. Although this provides the opportunity to develop new physical skills and enjoyment, it can also bring danger. I believe that children need to learn about danger and risk taking in a controlled environment. To make my garden a safe environment and to reduce the risk of possible accidents, I have put the following procedures in place:
- All minded children will be under constantly supervision by a responsible adult
- The dangers of the equipment will be explained to each child in an appropriate way for their age and understanding
- Children will be encouraged to take turns and share equipment
- The equipment will be checked/cleaned for animal faeces before use
- The equipment will be checked for wear and tear/ damage regularly and withdrawn from use if faulty
- Children will be encouraged to participate but will not be made to do any activity that they are uncomfortable with, for example the climbing frame
- Children will only be allowed to use age appropriate equipment
There have been several serious incidents involving skipping ropes and I have, therefore, decided to follow the guidance from the British Heart Foundation’s booklet ‘Active Playgrounds, A guide for Primary Schools’
Footwear: Children will need to wear supportive footwear. Children may need to be encouraged to wear trainers for playground skipping if their outdoor shoes are not considered to be safe.
Space: Children need to be made aware that they require adequate space all around them to be able to swing the rope without making contact with other ropes or skippers. A designated playground area is, therefore, advised and other non-skipping pupils should also be made aware of the dangers.
Clothing: sensible, loose-fitting clothing which allows free movement of the legs and arms.
Weather conditions: Certain wet playground conditions or very hot weather may be considered unsafe.
Fluid intake: this is particularly important in warm weather conditions to avoid dehydration and prevent the body from overheating. Children are not as efficient as adults in controlling body temperature.
Rope length: For individual skipping, when children stand in the middle of the rope and pull the handles upwards, the rope handles should reach the armpits. They can be shortened by tying knots at each end just below the handles.
Inappropriate use of the ropes: Children need to be made fully aware of the possible dangers of not using the ropes appropriately and correctly. Adult supervision is necessary.
If you have any concerns regarding your child using any piece of equipment in my garden, please do not hesitate to discuss them with me.
1 Please see separate Trampoline Policy
Policy Created – 14.1.18
Reviewed Date – 31.12.18