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Childrenʼs play and physical activity in traditional and forest (natural) playgrounds

Gregor Torkar and Aljoša Rejc (2017) Childrenʼs play and physical activity in traditional and forest (natural) playgrounds. International journal of educational methodology, 3 (1). pp. 25-30. ISSN 2469-9632

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    Abstract

    Early childhood is a crucial period for the physical and cognitive development of children. A child's exposure to nature is proven to be beneficial in this period of human life. The aim of the present research was to investigate children’s play and physical activity on a traditional playground and on a forest (natural) playground. Twenty-five observations took place on the traditional playground, and twenty-five observations were recorded on the forest playground. Twenty-five participating preschool children were observed in both playgrounds, but not necessarily in the same order. Research findings confirmed important qualities of natural playgrounds that provide children with a wide range of playing and learning opportunities not available on other playgrounds. Children were playing more with different natural materials in the forest playground and they more frequently played different chasing games and hide and seek in the forest playground. Participating children were also more physically active on the forest playground, and boys were more active on the forest playground than girls. The research concludes that it is important for preschool teachers to use natural playgrounds frequently and with regularity. Research design in this article is also an example of how GPS trackers can be beneficial for educational research.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Early childhood, playground, forest, play, physical activity, children
    Related URLs:
    URLURL Type
    http://www.ijem.com/IJEM_3_1_25.pdfAlternative location
    https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/11661641Alternative location
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Divisions: Department of Biology, Chemistry and Home Economics > Chair of Biology and Chemistry
    Item ID: 4602
    Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2017 14:36
    Last Modified: 16 Aug 2017 14:36
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4602

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