Place marker matsPlace marker mats are the perfect teaching aid for movement lessons

The surprising value of place marker mats

I had the good fortune to find and purchase a set of place marker mats with different animal designs on them about ten years ago. I bought four sets of mats with six different animals images. They have, without a doubt, been one of the best purchases of my teaching career. Place marker mats are THE perfect teaching aid for movement lessons.

If you are new to teaching movement or if you have never used place marker mats I can promise that you will immediately have more confidence with managing your group once you begin to use them. You will be inspired with more movement ideas even without using any other equipment.

Let’s go over several ways to use the marker mats for movement sessions and how to choose the best mats to purchase.

Top tip: combine register taking with a warm up using a place mat

No matter what sport I teach I can’t even imagine teaching without mats. They are essential for class management. I start right out with checking the register or roll call combined with a warm-up. As I call each child’s name they run to touch the opposite wall or do some other fun movement then run back to their place marker. It sets the tone for the lesson: everyone is paying in their place, paying attention and waiting for instruction.

Use place marker mats for class management

  • Each child has a their “own” place to leave from and return to.
  • You can control that the children are always evenly and safely spaced with mat placement.
  • Children returning to their “own” mat or marker saves time.
  • Mats enable easy and quick transitioning between activities.

When purchasing placemats or markers, be sure the corners will not curl, making them a tripping hazard.  There must be a none slip backing to prevent slipping. Select a variety of colours, pictures or patterns so that children can easily recognise which is theirs. And when teaching never place the same colour or style mat next to each other as this causes confusion.

Choose a quality mat

  1. Non-slip backing is the first quality to look for. This means the mats do not slide because of the rubber backing. This is important when children run to and from the mat that it does not slip from under them, causing a fall or injury.
  2. A mat that has a binding around the perimeter means that it will lie flat. If the corners curl up, as they often do on thin mats without an edging, this can be a tripping hazard.
  3. Make sure they are a good size: 30 – 40 cm square or 12 – 15 inches square.
  4. Choose a set with different bright colors or fun figures so that children can easily recognize their own spot.

place marker mat

Here is a short video with more information about how to choose and use place marker mats as a teaching aid in movement lessons.

If you would like to teach movement in an organised and manageable way, quality placements are vital. I have tried and tested a wide variety of mats and markers in the past but nothing has been as good as the square carpets I currently use. I hope this advice helps you to manage your children better when teaching movement.

You can find more information about equipment and other aids for teaching movement here.

P.S.: I am happy to have a free call with you to discuss your movement needs. Whether it be about your curriculum goals, resources, equipment or just general class management for movement lessons. I will gladly assist however I can.