May is the annual, global celebration of International School Grounds Month, coordinated by our colleagues at the International School Grounds Alliance. Thanks to the California State Legislature's Living Schoolyard Month Resolution (ACR-128), it is also Living Schoolyard Month in California!

Green Schoolyards America believes school grounds are very important to children and youth, and shape their experience of the world around them. If you agree with us, we hope you will take some time in May to go outside on school grounds with students of any age, to engage in outdoor learning, play and other activities.

Free Schoolyard Activity Guides

Green Schoolyards America and the International School Grounds Alliance collaborate to produce a set of free, digital schoolyard Activity Guides, designed to provide a wide range of outdoor activity ideas for schools that work with children between the ages of 3 and 18 years old. We hope our Activity Guides will encourage schools across the United States, and around the world, to take their students outside during the month of Mayand throughout the yearto celebrate their grounds and use them to their fullest.

There are two collaboratively written books in our set, and they follow the same format. Each book includes dozens of activity ideas written by our colleagues at other organizations, and each is updated annually with additional ideas so the collection grows over time.

Green Schoolyards America’s Living Schoolyard Activity Guide – United States Edition now includes 111 ideas for year-round school ground activities, written by 100 organizations from across the United States.

The International School Grounds Month Activity Guide includes an additional 76 ideas for use outdoors in May, written by 51 organizations from 21 countries. It is published by the International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) and was produced and edited by Green Schoolyards America in collaboration with our ISGA colleagues.

The activities in the Guides cover a wide range of ideas that support learning across the curriculum, promote healthy lifestyles, and encourage play and exploration during children’s free time, before, during and after school. Many of the activities also focus on ways to help children and youth understand the places they live, and connect to their neighborhood’s unique natural, geographic and cultural context.

We hope these ideas will inspire you and help you get started dreaming up outdoor activities for your own local school, wherever you live. All of the activities are intended for use anywhere in the world, so be sure to download both books!

After you participate in May, please tell us about your schoolyard adventures by registering here. We look forward to hearing from you!

Click on the book covers below
to download these free publications!


Source: Google My Maps. Map data ©2017 GOOGLE, INEGI

Source: Google My Maps. Map data ©2017 GOOGLE, INEGI

Source: Google My Maps. Map data ©2017 GOOGLE, INEGI  (Detail of the map above)

Source: Google My Maps. Map data ©2017 GOOGLE, INEGI  (Detail of the map above)

Contributing Organizations

The Activity Guide set is the result of a fruitful collaboration between Green Schoolyards America, the International School Grounds Alliance and 142 other organizations around the world, who each contributed a school ground activity that reflects their own organization’s mission, programs and areas of expertise. The diversity of ideas they shared will now enrich school ground programs across the country and around the globe. We greatly appreciate everyone’s participation and extend our sincere and heartfelt thanks to this wonderful community of colleagues. 

The maps to the left show the fantastic geographic diversity of the author-organizations that contributed activity ideas to this publication series. Organizations that contributed to the Living Schoolyard Activity Guide are shown with yellow markers. Organizations that contributed to the International School Grounds Month Activity Guide are shown with red markers. This is truly a global movement!