Old School Games
“Red Rover, Red Rover send Stefanie right over”
“Tag, you're it”
These phrases were a regular part of my childhood. I recently discovered this is not the case anymore. I don’t know how I missed it but these games are not allowed at my kids' elementary school. I understand Red Rover (as I witnessed a fellow player falling and then having a seizure when I was younger) but I can’t believe tag is not allowed. The reasons I was given shocked me too.
1.Tag is not allowed because the playground it very crowded.
2.Kids who are not playing get bumped into.
3.Kids tag too hard (push instead of tag).
4.And, according to my kids, it is because no touching is allowed.
This frustrates me greatly. As to number 1, why can’t recesses be broken down into smaller groups? If money is the reason (I am imagining the cost of another recess aide), then maybe some money should go to this. Play is vital for learning. For number 2, if it was smaller groups, you would have areas to play without bumping into others. On number 3, really, really? We are not playing because some kids tag too hard? Let’s teach those kids appropriate behavior instead of saying no one can play. Regarding number 4, tag can be appropriate touching.
Recess is already so short and then to find out activities are so limited makes me sad. Some of my friends told me that games are organized during recess at their schools but my children say not at their school. Plus, I imagine organizing a game would take up too much of the time allowed (which I think is about 15 minutes).
Our children are losing the ability to naturally play. They are relying too much on video games and organized activities. I’m betting this is one of the reasons.
Stefanie F. Pisarkiewicz, LPC
Experience and information from a counselor and mother- sharing her two cents on children and teens.