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Making pavement fun

Activity playground painted at Matthew Elementary; other schools expressing interest in the idea


If you’ve dropped your children off at Matthew Elementary in Bonavista this fall, or perhaps noticed children hanging around the parking lot, you may have also seen a colourful new addition to the parking lot, one that is interactive fun for students.

There are plenty of colourful and interesting activities for students painted on the parking lot, including a sensory path, snakes and ladders, hopscotch, Twister and more.

The idea came from Grade 1 teacher Melanie Gray who saw the designs on Facebook, along with physical education teacher Matthew White and Grade 5-6 teacher Nicole Abbott. They organized and actualized the project. Gray painstakingly marked out the designs in chalk and painted them on.

When it came time to buy the paint, they went to the local The Paint Shop for a quote.

Owner Shawn Randell said he’d phone the company to ensure they had the right paint to put on pavement.

When they returned, Randell told them Benjamin Moore and his shop would gift them the paint, brushes and trays for their project.

“It was a big surprise,” said Abbott.

They’re all very appreciative for the donation because the activities have been a hit with students. The painted playground represents an especially fun place to play for students because there is currently no playground equipment at Matthew Elementary.

“When the parents pick up their kids from school, it’s hard to get their kids off the parking lot because they just want to play on it,” Gray told The Packet.

“Some kids even come back on the weekends or evenings,” added Abbott. She says they really look forward to going out at lunch or recess to play.

Gray says, with a big focus on outdoor play in education, this is a great way to get kids playing outside. She notes there’s some math involved in the pavement playground as well, and many classes can use the space too, like physical education

It’s been so popular, they’re planning similar type designs at the Kindergarten end of the building — maybe on the side wall of the school. And other schools are even calling and asking for templates so they can implement it on their pavement.

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