Posted: January 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

When I was a kid, I remember all the times I was told to go out and play.

I remember enjoying the outdoors and pretending and playing and just having fun.

Do kids do that anymore?

I feel that many kids don’t go out and play anymore. Play and free time means sitting in front of the tv playing video games or holding a device and playing a game. Is this good for them? I believe in moderation that it is. However, too many kids are doing it all the time.

Recently the Orange County school district in Florida took recess away in the elementary schools. They blame Common Core and that students need to be in the classroom learning. Apparently they didn’t see the story about a former American teacher now teaching in Finland has noticed the difference in kids being allowed to play for 15 minutes every hour.

Within the past year, scientists have noticed how children playing helps them grow and learn.

Also, take a look at this great Ted Talk about the decline of play.

So why am I writing this? Because kids need time to be kids.

Many times this year I have talked about board games or card games and kids look at me wondering what I’m talking about. Many have never seen or heard of the game before. They are common games that most kids would know about.

I’ve even played math card games in my classroom and encouraged my students to go home and play the games with their parents. Their response was not the best. They asked if they could take cards home because they don’t have any playing cards.

This tells me that students either go home and play video games or that they may not have a chance to play at all.

It’s difficult for many teachers with children to see that their children are privileged. I was privileged when it came to games and playing. I had parents who sat down and played games with me or would encourage me to play the games with friends.

What did it teach me? It taught me that if you have a disagreement, how to talk through the problem

It taught me to read the rules so that I could understand the game. (I was reading technical text and I wasn’t scared of it.)

It taught me that I don’t always have to win. I also don’t get a participation award. (Don’t get me started on that.)

It taught me how to entertain myself and not rely on an adult telling me what to do.

This year there is a push for a Global School Play Day. A chance to remind students about how to have fun without devices.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with play or do you feel students need more time in the seat at school?


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