School playground strategies to promote unstructured activities

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Hyndman, B 2017, 'School playground strategies to promote unstructured activities', in B Hyndman (ed.), Contemporary school playground strategies for healthy students, Springer Nature, Singapore, pp. 149-156. ISBN: 9789811047381

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Peer Reviewed



Unstructured playground activities are defined as the activities students participate in that are spontaneous and without a set regime or purpose that can include digging, raking, lifting/carrying, exploring, planting, chasing, pushing objects into positions, construction, imaginative and creativeplay. The importance of students’ unstructured active playground activities is reflected in the definition of school recess “as a regularly scheduled time for children to engage in ‘unstructured’ play” (Wechsler et al. Prev Med 31(2):123, 2000). School playground opportunities that encourage unstructured, open-ended free play are an important opportunity to promote students’ activity levels of all ages and genders. This chapter will outline some of the recent, major school playground strategies to encourage unstructured activities.