Frequently Asked Questions about the Trouble-free Playground Staff-training workshop

Thank you for your interest in hosting a Trouble-free Playground staff-training workshop for the staff at your school or school district. If you’re like most schools, you have lots of questions that you need answered before you spend money and time on a workshop that focuses on the playground and recess. Below we’ve compiled a list of the most common questions that get asked prior to holding a workshop. Hopefully, the questions you need answered are here, if not, please contact us with your question and then we can add it to the list.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the on-site Trouble-free Playground staff-training workshop at your location is $1295.00 for a half-day (up to 3 hours) training and $1595.00 for a full-day (up to 6 hours) training at your site, plus travel expenses, which vary based on your location (see travel information below).

Note: Travel expenses vary and are based on your school’s location from the instructor. There are no travel expenses incurred if you are located less than 100 miles from the instructor. Typical travel expenses include things like airfare, hotel, and/or rental car and can range from $200 to $600 depending on your location. Contact us for a specific quote for travel expenses to your area.

Keep in mind when you hold a workshop you can have as many people attend as you want, so invite other schools in your area and have them share in the cost.

What will be covered or discussed in the workshop?

The Trouble-free Playground program is based on a specific philosophy that focuses on three principles:

  • Self-responsibility
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Inclusion style of teaching

Each of these principles is explained and demonstrated. For some schools, implementing this philosophy is a major paradigm shift. Most schools can see that this shift is necessary and can’t believe they didn’t adopt this type of philosophy before.

Understanding and using this philosophy is the key to the success of the program.

Participants learn how to:

  • Create and develop self-responsibility among students in regards to learning and behavior.
  • Increase intrinsic motivation to participate, learn and be respectful.
  • Use the Inclusion-style of teaching to ensure everyone participates.

The Trouble-free Playground program covers six different “steps” that, when implemented and followed, change the way children play and get along on the playground. These steps include:

  1. How to teach social/emotional skills so children learn to get along.
  2. How to change the games children play to make them more developmentally appropriate.
  3. How to change the perception of recess from just “free time” to “productive free time.”
  4. How to develop self-responsibility and increase intrinsic motivation among students.
  5. How to teach games to children.
  6. How to integrate recess into the classroom so it becomes a valued part of the day.

Participants are taken through each of the six steps. How to implement each one is both explained and demonstrated.

Who should attend this workshop?

Everyone in your school…administrators, teachers, support staff, para-professionals, etc. Anyone and everyone who works in your building will benefit from this program. The more people who are trained in the program, the more successful it will be. This is a school-wide program and everyone plays a role. Even staff member who don’t actually go out on the playground with the children, will benefit from attending.

Is there any special room set-up required?

This workshop is usually best suited for a large room, such as a cafeteria, gymnasium or multi-purpose room. Chairs (tables are optional) should be provided for the participants. Because part of the workshop is interactive, some open space for the participants to move around and interact is preferred. An LCD projector and screen are also needed.

Is there any special equipment required?

No, not really. As mentioned above, an LCD projector and screen for the PowerPoint presentation part is all that’s needed. Other than that, we will bring all the equipment needed to explain and demonstrate the games and activities.

Will the participants be doing any physical activity?

Yes, we will be playing tackle football! No, just kidding. During part of the workshop participants will be interacting and moving. The activity is for the most part, light to moderate, and involves mostly walking and talking. However, participants are encouraged to participate at their own discretion. No one is forced to participate, it is strictly voluntary. The physical activity part of the workshop is often the most fun and enjoyable part of the workshop. Interestingly, often after a workshop, the principal of the school comments that the team building that took place during the games that were played was the best part of the whole workshop. Many principals like the way the workshop gets staff members to interact. By the way, participants are encouraged to dress in comfortable clothes and shoes and play at their own level.

What are the learning objectives of the Trouble-free Playground staff-training workshop?

Everyone who attends will learn how to:

  • Teach much needed social-emotional skills that will impact discipline at your school.
  • Change the way children play, as well as the activities they choose.
  • Motivate children to learn and play.
  • Teach children games they can start and continue on their own without constant adult supervision.
  • Integrate curricular concepts with recess and play.
  • Teach children to be responsible for their actions and behavior through physical activity.
  • Make recess a fun, active and valuable learning experience for children.
Are there materials that go along with the staff-training workshop?

Yes. There are two different books, 6-Steps to a Trouble-free Playground and Games Kids Should Play at Recess. There are also two DVD’s, Games Kids Should Play at Recess Volume 1 and Games Kids Should Play at Recess Volume 2.

What do the books and DVD’s contain?

The book, 6-Steps to a Trouble-free Playground by Curt Hinson, Ph.D., contains information regarding the philosophy behind the program and the 6-Steps that a school should take to change their playground. There are no games explained in this book.

The book, Games Kids Should Play at Recess by Curt Hinson, Ph.D., contains 47 developmentally appropriate games that children should be taught for use at recess. There is a brief description of the philosophy and of the 6-steps used in the program given in this book.

The DVD, Games Kids Should Play at Recess Volume 1 contains 12 outdoor games that children can play at recess. Some of the games are in the book Games Kids Should Play at Recess, but several are not. None of the games on Volume 1 are on Volume 2 and vice versa. There is no detailed description or explanation of the 6-Steps program on the DVD.

The DVD, Games Kids Should Play at Recess Volume 2 contains 10 outdoor games and 6 indoor games that children can play at recess. Some of the games are in the book Games Kids Should Play at Recess, but several are not. None of the games on Volume 2 are on Volume 1 and vice versa. There is no detailed description or explanation of the 6-Steps program on the DVD.

The 6-Steps to a Trouble-free Playground staff-training workshop brings all components of the program together: the philosophy; the 6-Steps; and the games. Participants get a hands-on version of how and why to implement this program to make it work. The books and DVD’s are best used as supplemental materials to implement the program once a staff has been trained. It is possible to learn and implement the program through the books and DVD’s, however, the schools that have the most success with this program are the ones who have been through the actual training.

Who is Curt Hinson?

Curt Hinson, Ph.D., (also known as Doctor Recess) has been teaching for over 32 years. He taught at the elementary school level for 16 years and at the college level for over 16 years. He currently works as an educational consultant for PlayFit Education Inc., presenting staff development workshops for school districts, teachers, and students. In addition, he teaches in the on-line graduate program at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY and is an adjunct professor at Rowan University in New Jersey. He holds a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, a Masters of Education degree, and a BS degree in Health & Physical Education.

Dr. Hinson is the author of three books, Fitness for Children; Games Kids Should Play at Recess; and 6-Steps to a Trouble-free Playground. In addition, he has published over 50 articles related to teaching and is the creator of the “Trouble-free Playground” recess program for elementary schools.

Dr. Hinson has made presentations in all 50 states, as well as in Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Mexico. His practical, hands-on teaching techniques, along with his enthusiasm, make him one of the most dynamic educators in the country. He was the 1992 National Association for Sport and Physical Education Eastern District Teacher of the Year and the 1991 Delaware PE Teacher of the Year. He is a member of the Society of Health and Physical Educators of America (SHAPE America); the National Association for Sport and Physical Education; and the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation. Dr. Hinson has been featured in the Wall Street Journal; Disney’s Family Fun magazine; and on the Fox News Network. His Trouble-free Playground program is currently being implemented in schools in all 50 states.

Is the workshop worth it?

When this workshop is over you will be more than happy with the results. Just read the testimonials below of principals, teachers and others who have gone through the training. These are real comments from real educators who were somewhat skeptical at first but after the training they were believers. This program is being used in schools in all 50 states. It’s based on common-sense of how kids grow, learn and develop. It’s not rocket science but it is different. As mentioned earlier, it requires some schools to make a complete paradigm shift, better known as a 180 turn in the opposite direction. Put it this way, if your students are active at recess, play nicely and get along, and no one ever gets upset about who won, who lost, and whose turn it is next, then you don’t need this workshop. But if you have kids not participating, arguing in games, playing too rough, and bringing conflict back into the classroom after recess is over, then you should schedule a Trouble-free staff-training workshop today.