What happened to all the wonderful games we used to play? I remember playing jumprope, hopscotch, tag, dodgeball, kickball, and even marbles. Do any of the children play these games anymore?
Why don’t kids play jacks anymore? It taught counting, dexterity, speed and was just plain fun.
This summer we tried to teach the children hopscotch and they looked like it was some foreign activity. They didn’t know how to hop on one foot in the squares and they didn’t understand how to turn around and go back. It was fun to watch though.
Marbles was fun because the winner got to keep the marbles. It seemed like the marbles went back and forth among the players though because you realized if you got all of the marbles, no one had anything to play so you played alone.
Have we gone so rigid that we keep the children from playing these games in fear of them getting hurt? I realize that they may swallow jacks or marbles but the little ones usually didn’t have them and the older kids did. Many schools are banning tag because someone might get hurt. But if the children are well supervised, why can’t a teacher explain that they need to play gentler or the person will be sitting out of the games. How will children learn if we don’t let them play and explore their boundaries while we are there to guide them?
I feel like lately society is too quick to react out of fear of injury and litigation. My cousin’s child fell off the slide this week on his first day of kindergarden and broke his arm in two places. My cousin said the school and the hospital treated them wonderfully and she has no intention of suing anyone because it was just an accident. Thank goodness for that attitude or I’m afraid they will take the playground equipment out next!
As adults, I think we need to use more common sense. Accidents will happen. Children can play rough and someone might accidentally get hurt but if a teacher acts early, many times this can be prevented.
Recess time is just as essential as classroom time but I feel only if we allow the children to play. If we put too many rules and limitations on them where they can’t do anything but walk slowly in aimless wandering, we are defeating the purpose. Children need to get out their excess energy as well as learn how to play with others. This is a natural part of their development. It is important to being successful as they grow up.
What kind of games did you play as a child that you don’t see them playing anymore? Maybe this would be a good time to teach your students some of those games.
Original image: 'vandalism?' http://www.flickr.com/photos/70267096@N00/184421601 by: Who Am I?