Friday, May 21, 1999 Published at 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Playground games can stop bullying
Traditional games can help children to work together
Traditional playground games can help to reduce bullying, according to researchers.
A project run by a museum in Somerset has re-introduced old-fashioned games such as skipping, spinning tops and hopscotch into primary school playgrounds in the county.
Adam Hawkins, headteacher of Ash primary school, says that since introducing the traditional games, with their chants and group involvement, behaviour among pupils has improved.
Bullying is also believed to have been made less likely, as the communal games have helped children to play together and to communicate more during play.
Historian Alison Dike, who has been helping to rekindle interest in old playground games, says children who might have become bullies have been given a chance to "recognise the strengths of others" by participating in the traditional group games.
Activities such as hopscotch or skipping games, she says promote interaction, "you have to talk to people to play them" and in the process children learn to work together.
The success of the project could lead to an expansion of the museum's investigation into re-introducing traditional playground games.