Active supervision is a strategy that works; it helps ensure safety and positive play experiences. It requires adult supervisors who are alert, are aware, know safe playground rules, and intervene when inappropriate behavior occur. Supervision is the active, yet unobtrusive, monitoring of the play environment.
What is Active Supervision?
Active supervision requires focused attention and intentional observation of children at all times. Adults position themselves so that they can observe all of the children: watching, counting, and listening at all times. They also use their knowledge of each child’s development to anticipate what they will do, then get involved and redirect when necessary. Children should never be left unattended.
Set Up the Environment
Set up the outdoor play environment so that you can supervise children at all times. When activities, equipment, and open spaces are designed well, it is easier to supervise by sight and sound. Carefully plan where you will position yourself in the environment to prevent children from harm. Place yourself so you can see and hear the children.
Scan and Listen
Continuously scan the entire environment to know where everyone is and what they are doing. Specific sounds or the absence of sound may signify a reason for concern. By listening closely to children, you can immediately identify signs of potential danger.
Behaviors of Children and Adults are Important
You can support healthy and active play without directing or controlling. Assist in creating positive play experiences by being proactive, watching for environment or equipment risks, and responding to unsafe play behaviors and unsafe equipment use.