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Playground Markings Tips

Published: October 4, 2018

The aim of Playground Markings is to increase the opportunities for school based activity and play as well as increasing the number of children who are active.
Here are some useful tips if your school is planning on putting markings down.


It is advisable to take on this project in collaboration with the board of management of the school, staff and the parents/community.

Appoint a Project Leader that will be involved in the process from start to finish. The project leader in collaboration with the management/staff and administration should determine the primary intent of the markings prior to initiating the painting process.


Training is an integral piece of the process. Consideration should be given as to how to train teachers and support staff to utilise the markings during lunch/ break times. Training should include not only how to use the markings, but also incorporating teacher reinforcement cues to promote physical activity.

Parents Council Committee | Fundraising Effort | Department of Education – Minor Works Grant
Department of Education – Summer Work Scheme | Contact Department of Education – School Planning | Department of Rural and Community Development

This can vary depending upon who puts down the markings, here are 3 options:
Option 1 – Employing a professional can cost between €1,000 and €2,000.
Option 2 – Hire a community Artist, borrowing the stencils from WSP or HSE
Option 3 – Parents/Caretaker/PTA. This will cost around €50 for the paint but it is recommended to use line marking paint and discuss this with experts prior to buying this. Line Marking Paint’ is recommended for the long term wear of the games – best suited for tarmacadam but also works on cement. Line Marking Paint’ is toxic and masks should be worn when putting down the markings.


If the decision has been made to engage with a local artist, it is recommended to have a consultant process to assist with layout design and the actual painting process. The artist consultant, along with the project leader and other school representatives, can help develop a layout design plan that details where the playground markings will be located.


Prior to painting the markings, the areas to be painted need to be cleaned and swept as much as possible. The paint will adhere best to a clean surface. Ideally, the areas to be painted should be power-washed and allowed to dry completely before any paint is applied (e.g., a day or two before painting). Additionally, on the day painting will take place it is recommended that the area be swept and/or cleaned again with a leaf/yard blower to remove any loose dirt, etc. shortly before applying paint.


Having school staff and parent volunteers involved in this aspect of the project is essential. The painting process will go much faster and more smoothly if parent/school volunteers help paint the markings. Having volunteers plan to be available for at least a couple of hours or more is helpful. The painting process typically occurs in phases with the organization and preparation happening at the outset. For instance, confirming the placement of the markings, sweeping/blowing the areas to be painted, organizing and preparing the paint supplies (e.g., brushes, water, etc.).

Stencils for Playground Markings can be borrowed from Waterford Sports Partnership or the HSE.
Please contact Louise Barry on 0761 10 2619 or email
or alternatively…. Health Promotion Office, HSE – South, St. Catherine’s Hall, Waterside, Waterford Tel: 051 842911

You can use road-marking paint (lasts longer but only available in yellow and white)
You can use acrylic outdoor masonry paint (it is water based and non-toxic, available in a wide range of colours (primary colours are best) and costs approx. €40 per gallon)


Contact Louise Barry from Waterford Sports Partnership or Susan Scully from the HSE to arrange training for teachers and older children demonstrating how to play the games.
This workshop is essential to maximise the potential of the markings.
Health Promotion Office | HSE – South | St Catherine’s Hall | Waterside | Waterford | Tel: 051 842911
Susan Scully| HSE | Health Promotion | Tel: 051 846714
Louise Barry | Waterford Sports Partnership | Tel: 0761 10 2619

Article Modified: December 08, 2018 10:45 am

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