I grew up in a small town and attended a school that ran from kindergarten to grade 8. Recess was always the highlight of the day. It was a nice break in the middle of the seemingly long school day to hang out and have a little fun.
I remember when the movie Titanic went out and we were playing Titanic on the playground. It was a long wooden playground with a waving bridge and a tower with a big red slide. With Rose being part of my name, I obviously pretended to be Rose. I held a friend’s hand at the top of the slide, then let him go as he slid down the slide like Jack sinking into the ocean.
Morbid? Type of. Amusing? Absoutely.
I remember going into 6th grade. Finally, college! And learning that because of the 8th graders graduating before I started middle school, we wouldn’t have recess. Apparently these 8th graders, God forbid, didn’t take that long to really play. Just lie down. And the school then decided that the middle schoolers did not need recess. They needed to read more.
I remember even then thinking it was nonsense and writing an essay about it. It didn’t change anything but made me feel a little better.
The Psychology Behind Recess
Time delved into this topic several years ago and noted a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics that suggested children get one hour of “moderate-to-vigorous activity a day” and that the benefits of recreation went beyond physical, but also social, emotional and cognitive play. development.
Time also noted another study looking specifically at 8- and 9-year-olds, saying those who had at least one recess of at least 15 minutes performed better in class.
It seems like any parent would be okay with that. How often do parents or those just around the kids see them running around and playing and saying things like, “Well, they’re going to sleep well tonight!” or: “Take them out to cool down by the time you get home.” Children are tiny balls of love, snot and energy and if that energy doesn’t come out constructively, it will come out in ways that could be disruptive at school or at home.
PlaygroundEquipment.com reviewed all 50 states and their policies regarding playtime. They note that over the years, recreation is often put on the back burner in favor of standardized testing, arbitrary quotas, and the like. 8 states received a failing grade and Maine was one of them. Why? Because here in Maine, there are no laws or recommendations for recreation. In addition, recess can be retained as a punishment.
I think many of us remember the teachers’ threat when a student misbehaved that if they didn’t line up the whole class would have to stay inside during recess. In hindsight, this makes even less sense than in 4th grade.
PlaygroundEquipment.com goes on to note that when kids have playtime they statistically make better food choices, are less likely to be obese, it’s a child’s right according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. of the man, it strengthens the independence and the graduation rates stop. until it is higher.
So let’s do better in Maine. Let the children play. This is a no-loss situation. Our education system has so many flaws, let’s start improving by letting our children play, explore and imagine every day. To fail at recess is to fail for our children.
Family-friendly day trips from Portland, Maine your kids will love
Looking for something fun to do with the family, but want to stretch your legs outside of Maine for the day or the weekend? Here’s a list of fun places for you and your family that could easily be packed into a long day or a quick weekend getaway. Everything on this list is less than x hours from Portland.
For reference, when putting Portland, Maine on Google Maps, it places the street view guy at Portland City Hall. Departure time is 8am on a Saturday in June to account for traffic.
Did your favorite make your list? Somewhere new you plan to check out?