Play now part of the curriculum for Christchurch school

A Christchurch school is using the healing powers of play to help kids deal with the impact of the pandemic. 

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The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on children, creating stress, anxiety, and disrupting their usual routines. Source: 1 NEWS

Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School is making play part of their everyday curriculum, with lots of bouncing and kicking balls.   

The Covid pandemic has been especially tough on children, turning their lives upside down like never before. 

“The research shows up that when children play, the brain has a chance to heal, and particularly when the adults get involved in that play, it's incredibly efficacious, it does work for kids,” Marriene Langton, Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon Principal told 1 NEWS.  

But it's not just the pandemic, with many of these children having never known a time without a major disaster in their city - there's been two earthquakes, a major wildfire in the Port Hills, even a terror attack and after a while, that can add up.  

The school was given a chest full of equipment from Sport Canterbury, who adopted the initiative.   

“They can experiment with different equipment, and hopefully develop a physical literacy that in time leads to a lifelong participation in sport and physical activity,” Julyan Falloon, Sport Canterbury Chief Executive says. 

Stephanie Loveridge, nine, says it’s helping her class get through.  

“I think it distracts them from the outer world, and it sort of makes an imaginary world that they can do anything in really,” she told 1 NEWS,