George Lucas Educational Foundation

Creating Opportunities for Unstructured Play

When schools make space for free play in a natural environment, students are left to their own devices to build, create, and problem-solve—and the benefits continue once they are back in the classroom.

March 15, 2023

After a storm took a few trees down in their yard, Dyce Primary School in Aberdeen, Scotland, asked the city to leave them untouched in order to create a wild space for their students to explore, take risks, and play freely—and the results exceeded expectations. Students built up their resilience, as they had the chance to fail and practice iterating on their work, developed key social skills like ability to negotiate and solve problems both independently and collaboratively, and came back into the classroom more focused. 

To learn more about the research behind the practices seen in the video, check out the links below.

Dyce Primary School

Public, Suburban
Grades K-6
Aberdeen, Scotland

Edutopia developed the Making Learning More Playful series with support from The LEGO Foundation

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Filed Under

  • Play & Recess
  • Research
  • Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Student Wellness
  • K-2 Primary
  • 3-5 Upper Elementary
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