Several studies early pointed out the crucial need for leisure activities on children's cognitive development process (i.e. Waldorf method, Reggio Emília schools, Montessori method, Froebel kindergardens). The relevance of the topic has been recurrent for more than a century and it is still relevant. In Portugal, daily school hours vary between 6 to 10 hours and testimonies informally recollected from teachers, warn about the increasing failure on children's motor coordination. In this context, the opportunity of the discussion about the potential positive impact of the design of school patios is raised, both in the transmission and assimilation of knowledge and in the psychomotor development of children, as well as a main strategy to avoid dissemination of contagious illnesses. This investigation is focused on case studies elected from schools for children 3-10 years old in Vila Nova de Gaia (VNG).
Keywords: Outdoor environment; school patios; children development