Organized Play or Beware of Children with Big Sticks!

I love this picture and would love a little background on what is going on.  Unfortunately in most of the schools I work at, this would be considered dangerous and therefore not allowed. I would imagine kids with the sticks would be the leaders just by having the sticks in hand!  Ha! Life on the playground especially during a school day should be a time to play, let off some steam, chill out and socialize. Also there usually is a sub-culture of who is the leader, the follower, the organizer, the negotiator, the caregiver? (sounds like a group of co-workers in the lunchroom, doesn’t it?) If adults try to organize the play, it no longer becomes play.  I know its a trust thing and there may be boundaries crossed that cause the need an adult to guide and facilitate proper play rules. I believe the loss of recess isn’t helping the physical needs of all parties to move their bodies.  But I can’t help but wonder if the loss of recesses sacrifices the critical social, negotiation and cooperative skills that occur on that playground.  Here’s the weekly challenge, if you have access to a child, take them to a playground during off hours, let them explore, master the equipment and enjoy it. By doing that, they then may be better able to do the social piece and become part of the whole experience of recess play. If you are a staff monitoring recess, step back, observe and let play occur in its natural, spontaneous form. (Just don’t get hit with a stick!)

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary
    May 04, 2012 @ 21:57:36

    Do agree that children need freedom during recess. The role of the adults should focus on safety especially concerning bullying. Recess can be a teachable moment for some children who often are unaware of the affects of their behavior or words on another child. Those sticks looked pretty safe in the pictures.

    Reply

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