Why Kids Need More Playtime
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why Kids Need More Playtime

Is it time for recess?

2126
Why Kids Need More Playtime
iStockphoto

"We just wrote for an hour, I don't want to do this worksheet!"

"My legs hurt from sitting so much!"

"I can't focus!"

These are common complaints I hear from the second grade students I work with every day. These students work hard all day and are pushed from one activity to the next in order to get everything done on time. I find myself giving frequent reminders to "focus on your work" or to "try to get this done because we only have five more minutes until we transition to the next activity." If I were in their shoes, I too would have some of the complaints above. Children need more time to play without instruction, not only so they will be refreshed and ready to learn, but also so they can preserve their own mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Many schools in the United States give only 15 minutes of recess for the entire school day. Schools in Finland give their students a 15 minute break for every 45 minutes of work they do. Many teachers and parents in the United States may look at Finland's approach as too much play and not enough time for work to get done but, as a future teacher who sees kids struggle to maintain focus on a daily basis, I believe that this is an approach that U.S. schools should look into.

I am lucky to work with a teacher that tries to incorporate movement and breaks into her routine for the students. This teacher gives her students time to be creative -- every Monday morning the kids play with blocks and every Friday these students get to let out their energy with "Friday Fun," giving students the freedom to do a puzzle, talk with classmates, draw or whatever they are not able to do during the normal instruction time. Another great break the kids get during the day is a "Body Break," which allows students to play Simon Says, try some yoga poses or watch a GoNoodle video. GoNoodle videos get kids moving when they are restless from working all day and can help refocus their energy when they get a little too crazy. Kids love GoNoodle, and finish feeling refreshed and ready to learn!

Although all of these in-class breaks are wonderful, there still needs to be a push for more outdoor, unstructured playtime for kids. When you push kids to work and work and work without a break they are going to become distracted, restless, frustrated and eventually just burn out. Many adults may think that the work children have to do isn't very hard so they don't need as many breaks or that other countries are above the U.S. in academics so there is no time for more playtime. We need to take a step back and remember that these are just kids. Even as an adult in the classroom, sometimes I forget that the work I am encouraging them to complete that may seem easy to me is actually challenging for them. Kids have so much potential and room to grow. As adults in their lives, we should be fostering their growth with playtime not setting them back with stress. With more playtime we will discover happy, healthy, determined students.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

I Rated The 6 Best Seasonal Dates So You Don't Have To Go To Pinterest For Your Next Holidate

My boyfriend and I have the best holiday date list prepared so you don't have to search Pinterest for your next idea!

64799
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

I would just like to note that I am a little biased because they were all great dates, and I know he's going to read this. So here's a quick, little reminder that I love my boyfriend very much!

Keep Reading... Show less

With a huge sigh of relief, we can safely say that Joe Biden has won the election.

Keep Reading... Show less
Instagram: @greysabc

At the end of their last episode, "Grey's Anatomy" teased the return of another character from Meredith's past. After the return of Patrick Dempsey's, Derek Shepherd, Grey's fans know that no one is off-limits.

The return of these characters comes after Meredith was diagnosed with COVID-19 and began experiencing hallucinations of her loved ones.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

I love listening to Christmas music just as much as the next person, but when I turn on my local holiday radio station each year, it just feels repetitive. No hate to musicians like Burl Ives or Nat King Cole, but Christmas music needs an update. Personally, I'm tired of the same "Let It Snow" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". So plug in your Christmas tree, make some hot cocoa, and listen to these amazing (and updated) holiday songs.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the holidays right around the corner, there are many things to look forward to. Time with family, friends, great food, overall seasonal joy... And now the fragrances from Jennifer Lopez.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

10 Christmas Songs For Your Festive Playlist

I have no shame in starting to feel festive super early.

19825

All of these songs are definitely popular. However, I have the strong opinion that having the songs on your Christmas playlist be popular is extremely important. Having everyone sing to the songs is most of the fun; it adds to the festivity of whatever you're doing.

Personally, I love to bake cookies and hum along as I cannot sing and no one should ever hear me. Whatever you do for the holidays, enjoy your festive time and the season!

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Movies And TV Shows That Got Mental Illness Right​

There is a very fine line between representation for mentally ill people and demonizing them for the sake of entertainment. Hollywood has a tendency to sensationalize mental illness, but these shows and movies got it right.

5307
Lionsgate

At the risk of being dismissive of all the progress we've made, mental health representation is still seriously lacking. Many shows fall into the traps of making their mentally ill character violent, making professional help seem useless, or making characters who don't reflect the reality for people living with mental illness.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

10​​ Songs That Made It Onto My November Playlist

Another month of finding new music during unusual times

48707

A new month means new music! Like each month, I've collected my top 10 new songs or discoveries into a playlist. This November didn't have too many new releases, however, I did find a few and a couple of new discoveries.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments