Access Keys:

St. Paul's Primary School, Belfast

‘TOPS’ Taking Outdoor Play Seriously

7th Apr 2017

Importance of Play in Schools – Play is one of the primary mechanisms children and young people use to learn about the world around them. Both natural and instinctive, play enables children to test their own abilities and learn and develop new skills and knowledge. As such play has a critical role in schools – offering both an outlet for expending energy during break times and as a means of contributing to learning through the curriculum.

The importance of schools as environments for play also cannot be understated.  For many children and young people, the school playground represents the only open, accessible space available to them on a regular basis that allows them to engage in physically challenging and socially developmental outdoor play.


We have some fantastic ideas for our playtime and making much better use if the space we have in our playground. We need a bit of help collecting some materials which we will use to develop our play. If you have any of the following items from our list we would very much appreciate it if you could send them into school, it will really help us out.

  • Cars / Diggers
  • Wooden floor strips / laminating flooring
  • Dinosaurs
  • Small world characters – Barbies / small dolls
  • Chalk
  • Wallpaper
  • Chalk
  • Shower curtains
  • Plastic sheets / tarpaulin
  • Pegs
  • Pop up tents
  • Plastic crates
  • Wooden pallets
  • Gardening stones
  • Kitchen equipment
    • Baking / muffin trays
    • Pots /pans
    • Wooden spoons / ladles / serving spoons
    • Sieves
    • Plastic / metal measuring jugs
  • Tree stumps
  • Old basins
  • Ropes
  • Bean Bags
  • Skittles
  • Ribbons
  • Skateboards
  • Hoops
  • Bats
  • Balls
  • Whistle
  • Egg timer