These documents are samples of some of the training material available to prospective Playground leaders. The first section is a set of multiple-choice and true-or-false questions based on the Playground Leaders' text from 1966. The second section presents three scenarios of different types of playgrounds, and asks the course participants to present sample playground programmes targeted for that particular demographic.

A green paper with typed writing

"Playground Leaders' Course - 1966

These forms must be completed individually and turned in on registration at Quetico Centre. This questionnaire is based on the Community Programmes Division publication: "Reference Manual for Playground Leaders" 1 to 7, inclusive, available at your local Recreation Office.

Part A: Circle the alternative which completes the sentence "best", even though others may not be wrong.

1. The main purpose of a playground is to
a. give children a safe place to play creatively
b. keep children off the streets and out of trouble
c. reduce juvenile delinquency
d. entertain and amuse children through physical activity
e. teach social, creative and physical recreation skills in a safe environment

2. Giving awards on a playground
a. stimulates attendance at playground
b. wins support for the municipal recreation program
c. always encourages good citizenship, sportsmanship and wholesome attitudes
d. encourages those who are not adept to try harder
e. recognizes those who deserve recognition

3. Signs of a well run playground is one on which
a. everyone is busy in activities directed by the playground leader
b. the equipment is safe and well maintained
c. children are involved in activities where they assume the leadership
d. there isn't any arguing or fighting and everyone always abides by the rules
e. children are involved in planning and conducting the playground programme.

4. The job of the playground leader is mainly
a. to keep all the children busy
b. to know and follow the rules and procedures of the hiring authority
c. to program so that everyone -- stars and duds, boys and girls have an opportunity for creative play
d. to keep the bigger kids busy so the little ones can enjoy creative play."

A green paper with typed writing

"5. A playground leader's main qualifications should be:
a. to like people and enjoy working with them, especially children
b. to have knowledge of all activity skills
c. to be able to set a good example
d. an understanding of the needs of children and to be able to plan and conduct programmes to meet those needs
e. able to understand the learning opportunities available on the playground and be able to cause the learning to occur." 

A blue paper with typed writing

"Playground Leaders' Course 1966 - Part B

Indicate in the space opposite each statement true or false based on "Reference Manual for Playground Leaders" pamphlets 180-7 inclusive. For question 28 write in the answer.

1. Your main job is to see that children play safely.
2. The playground leader's objectives in planning programmes is to achieve balance of different activities for different ages and sexes.
3. The main purpose of a playground is to give children a safe, off-the-street place to play.
4. For maximum learning a playground leader attending a training course must listen, question, extract suitable ideas, contribute new ideas and then apply the learning back home.
5. Creative ability is natural to the average person and because of the many opportunities it is highly developed in nearly everyone.
6. Playground programmes help in the development of good social attitudes.
7. Children come to a playground to be entertained and amused.
8. A playground without equipment is not a playground.
9. Play is as natural to people as sleep and food.
10. Playground programmes are just a glorified baby sitting service.
11. Participation is the key to effective learning.
12. It doesn't really matter how you dress as long as your clothes are clean.
13. The playground leaders job is mainly that of an informal teacher.
14. Games can be used to build self-confidence in children.
15. It is highly important that all the children's play on the playground be highly organized.
16. A playground leader cannot influence the behaviour and attitudes of the children who come to the playground.
17. A child centred programme is one based on meeting the administrative responsibilities set down by the hiring authority."

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"18. Idleness and relaxation are not a part of playground activity.
19. Playgrounds are important because they provide a safe place for children to play so that mothers can get badly needed rest and relaxation.
20. It is a playground leader's responsibility to know and follow the policies and procedures of the hiring authority.
21. A playground programme includes everything the child does from the time he steps on the play area and until he leaves for home.
22. It is unwise to give handicapped children responsibilities because they will feel badly about not being able to play like other children.
23. A playground leader cannot do good work if he or she is responsible for more than 40 children at a time.
24. Children from minority groups can cause problems on a playground because other children are naturally race or colour conscious.
25. All playground leaders should do what they think best without reference to their hiring authority.
26. The playground takes its place along with the home, school and church as an influence on the child's development.
27. The respect, confidence and trust of the community is your right because you have been appointed "playground leader".
28. What is the most important thing on the playground?
29. It is the playground leader's responsibility to programme so that everyone -- star and dud, boys and girls --  have the opportunity to play.
30. Creativeness in children is encouraged when they are told what to do and how to do it.
31. Children come to the playground to learn.
32. A playground leader should evaluate his or her own performance.
33. A playground is a place to entertain children not to train volunteers.
34. The children should be included in planning and conducting the programme."  

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"35. The way in which a playground leader dresses and acts is a basis for formulating opinions about the recreation department, committee or other hiring authority.
36. A sign of a mature person is one who draws on past experiences and reason rather than emotion to guide personal behaviour.
37. Much of what the children learn will be from the way you conduct yourself.
38. Skills learned on the playground will be useful later in life.
39. Children remember 60% of what they hear.
40. You should  always "wind up" an activity when the interest lags.
41. Providing opportunities for leadership is an important part of the playground.
42. The programme should always be adjusted to the expressed interest of the children.
43. A whistle is the most important tool for controlling children on the playground.
44. A playground leader should be worthy of emulation.
45. It is the responsibility of the hiring authority to see that I am well-trained." 

Part A - 1e, 2c, 3a, 4c, 5d
Part B - 1T, 2T, 3T, 4T. 5F, 6T, 7T, 8F, 9T, 10F, 11T, 12T, 13T, 14T, 15F, 16F, 17T, 18F, 19T, 20T, 21T, 22F, 23T, 24F, 25F, 26T, 27F, 28 The Children, 29T, 20F, 31F, 32T, 33T, 34T, 35T, 36T, 37T, 38T, 39F, 40T, 41T, 42T, 43F, 44T, 45T,

Thanks go out to the Playgrounds Division for supplying the answers!

Title: Playgrounds Leaders Course 1967
Date: 1967
Creator: Quetico Centre
Description: This is a training activity for City playground leaders. The best presentations were chosen by the other participants in the training. Note that the examples are intended to reflect the diversity of children participating in the Playgrounds program, although the language used is not always inclusive by today's standards.
Series: 28, Port Arthur Parks & Recreation Files
Location: TBA 4750-32


A yellow paper with typed writing

"Playground Leader's Course - 1967
Quetico Centre

Programme Planning - Group Assignment

You are a playground leader in a Northwestern Ontario community. Attached is a description of the playground on which you will work.

The assignment:

Develop a programme which will use to best advantage the equipment, physical environment and skills of the children on the playground. You can invent skilled people and ethnic groups, enlarge upon the description attached, make up resources excepting equipment and facilities to plan a programme which will illustrate involvement of the children and adults in the neighbourhood and a programme to meet the needs of those who come to the playground. The programme should include:

  • a nature programme on the playground
  • low-organization games
  • storytelling, music and drama
  • crafts
  • an appropriate special event

You will have 2 hours Wednesday evening to develop your programme for presentation to the rest of the groups. Give the reasons for your programme design and for whom it is planned.

On Thursday afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. all of the groups will present their programmes. The manner in which you present your programme is up to you. You may wish to use a series of short lectures, or a pageant, or pantomimes, or demonstrations, or a combination of these or some other way. The choice of method of presentation is up to you. Start off by reading the description of your playground."  

A blue paper with typed writing

"Playground "A"

The Neighbourhood: A new subdivision with young families having mostly preschool and school age children. Nearly all the people are newcomers to the community - some from Europe and some from Canada.

The Playground: Paved with asphalt, an adjacent vacant field, water-filled ditch along the road side, three swings, teeter totters, wading pool, large sand box.

Equipment: A summer supply including 2 bats, 4 softballs, 2 volleyballs but no nets, 12 sets of 3" size paint brushes, 1 quart each of red, yellow, blue, green, black and white paint, 2 packages of construction paper, 1 gallon of glue, 12 pairs of scissors.

The Children Who Attend:

  • 10 5-7 year olds
  • 13 8-12 year olds
  • 2 13-15 year olds


  • 13 5-7 year olds
  • 15 8-12 year olds
  • 4 13-15 year olds

Two children, one 12 year old in a wheelchair, and a girl of 7 who is a mongoloid, live near the playground." 

A purple paper with typed writing

"Playground "B"

The Neighbourhood: An older section of the city or town. Some of the people have lived in the area all their lives and are knowledgeable about its history. There are numerous racial groups represented including Italians, Ukrainians, Indians and a few Chinese.

The Playground: Mostly bare earth, a little grass with a few weeds and bushes around the edges. Too far to go to the countryside.

Equipment: 2 teeter totters, 2 swings, a sand box, small wading pool, shelter building, four tables. 

The summer's stock of supplies includes 2 bats, 4 softballs, 2 volleyballs, 12 sets of 3 different brushes, 1 quart of blue, green, red, yellow, black and white poster paint, 1 gallon of glue, 2 packages of construction paper, 12 pair of scissors, 2 checker games.

The Children:

  • 6 5-7 years
  • 15 8-12 years
  • 4 13-15 years


  • 8 5-7 years
  • 15 8-12 years
  • 6 13-15 years

Two brothers who speak only a few words of English live across the road from the playground." 

A yellow paper with typed writing

"Playground "C"

The Neighbourhood: An old area with well-developed boulevards, lawns, trees, flower gardens and fences. There is very little open spaces that can be used for play. People who live in this area are middle-class people. The playground is owned by the school, built by the Kiwanis and staffed by the Recreation Committee.

The Playground: Edge of town on a schoolyard. There is a vacant field behind the school leading to a wooded area.

Equipment: 2 teeter totters, slides, swings, sand boxes, tables, wading pool.

Summer supplies include: 2 bats, 4 softballs, 2 volleyballs, 12 sets of 3 different brushes, 1 quart of blue, green, red, yellow, black and white poster paint, 1 gallon of glue, 2 packages of construction paper, 12 pair of scissors, two checker games.

The Children:

  • 12 5-7 years
  • 10 8-12 years
  • 3 14 years


  • 18 5-7 years
  • 12 8-12 years
  • 3 15 years

A 12-year-old boy who lost a leg in an accident and uses a crutch comes to the playground."

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