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Susan Adcox

Let's Hear It For Recess!

By November 24, 2012

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When I was a kid, there was a universal answer when an adult asked about our favorite subject in school. "Recess!" we would chorus, and most of the time, we were telling the truth.

Today's kids may give you a blank look if you ask about recess. They may have P.E. in a gym instead. If they do have recess, chances are that some activities, such as Red Rover, have been banned. A recent poster on the Free-Range Children website claimed that running had been banned at her child's school. Many emails with administrators later, she was advised that there was no such official policy at her child's school, but that overcautious playground monitors had been telling the kids not to run. I know that it can be nerve-wracking to see children tearing around a playground at full tilt, but surely the benefits of such exercise outweigh the possible risks.

One practice that I know goes on at many schools is keeping kids in at recess if they haven't finished their work. That one makes no sense at all. The child who has difficulty finishing work is probably the child who needs play time the most.

Do your grandchildren still have old-fashioned recess? Leave a comment below.

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November 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm
(1) Lydia (Mai) says:

Yes! And thank heaven that my grandson still has recess! Ask him what is best about school and he always replies “Recess!!”. In my humble opinion, adding a little more recess time instead of over monitoring the calorie count in a school lunch would probably have more positive results. I also think that some of the most important lessons in life are learned during recess and some of the most lasting friendships are formed while playing with peers during recess.

November 24, 2012 at 9:40 pm
(2) Penny says:

My grandson’s school has just started an after-school-sports program. Since he’s much more into reading than outside activity, we are very excited.

November 26, 2012 at 10:31 am
(3) Grandma Kc says:

Recess and the playground have certainly been the topic of conversation at Amara’s school lately. Because they have expanded from K-5 to now being K-8 they had to add additional classrooms and the only place to add them was on part of the playground. So now they have more students with less room for them to play. Kids NEED time to run and let off steam — both at home and at school.

February 19, 2013 at 10:05 am
(4) Jan Baer says:

We adults forget how important recess and active play are for chldren’s growth and learning. I asked a group of parents to close their eyes, think back to 3rd grade. Imagine being at school. What did you like best about your school day. Of course, they said “recess,” and many of them were surprised!

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