Doug Smith on PlayGrounding

Can I Play? The State of PE and Play in America’s Schools

With all of this talk about kids and play, it’s about time we hear from an educator here on the PlayGrounding Podcast. Doug Smith has been a physical education teacher for nineteen years. In this episode, we discuss the state of physical education in schools today such as the focus on testing and how many states are losing PE classes altogether.

But don’t worry, we talk about the fun stuff too, such as the importance of playgrounds that fire kids’ imaginations. He helped to build a beautiful one inspired by a book by Richard Louv called Last Child in the Woods. Doug’s story is also inspiring for us adults. His love for play led him to participate in a self-imposed challenge to play 30 sports in 90 days in 2011 and wrote a blog about his play adventures to share with his students.

Doug is a National Board Certified Physical Education Teacher in Charlotte, NC.  He has been teaching elementary PE for 19 years.  He has a passion for guiding his students towards a healthier lifestyle and helping them to be physically fit.  His knowledge of whole school wellness has led him to the creation of many innovative ideas, programs, and play areas for his school, including the one of a kind North Carolina Creative Playground.  He believes in and encourages his school as a whole to embrace PLAY and FITNESS as a positive lifestyle.

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Take a look at the playground he talks about on the podcast. I can definitely see how the kids imagined that little window to be a drive-through… What would you have dreamed up?

Doug Smith Playground