After 15 years on school playgrounds, we’ve learned a few things.

We all learn lessons through many different places, but in 15 years in schools across the country, we’ve found the playground to be a powerful classroom…. We’ve learned recess has the promise and potential to be one of the most powerful tools of the school day. Recess has been an amazing teacher, and one we want all of our children to have as they grow. Here are some of the lessons the playgrounds have taught us:
  • A school that gives children the opportunity to learn and prove themselves beyond the classroom creates an environment that not only lifts those who most need it, but elevates all in its learning community.
  • When kids are given the tools to “play it out” when they have minor conflicts, not only do they go back to class ready to learn, they continue to use these tools in other areas of their lives.
  • When children are given the opportunity and support to be playground leaders, they will wear that mantle proudly and make a difference to others.
  • When you introduce a game that everyone can play, you’ll get more children physically active and move them beyond the sidelines.
Play is a great reminder that our students want the same things that we want as grown-ups – they want a challenge, a chance to succeed, some measure of control on the world around them and a chance to know and be known by others. These are the very components of a game, the experiences that ultimately help a person develop the skills of empathy, teamwork and leadership.
We’re glad to be a part of the movement for play. On the playground every day, we see transformative learning. And who knows? The leaders of tomorrow – the next president or secretary of state or visionary – may be at recess right now, playing four square or kickball on the school playgrounds.

More Resources

April 29, 2021

Leveraging Play to Address Learning Loss ›

In order to help kids recover from learning loss, we must ensure their emotional needs are met. We need to prioritize every child’s wellbeing, and that starts with acknowledging that many kids are healing from traumas caused by the pandemic, including social, emotional, and physical impacts of COVID-19.  “When children experience stress and trauma, it…

January 5, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Virtually ›

Many educators have risen to the challenge of transitioning their lessons to accommodate virtual education, and Playworks has been helping educators ensure play remains in every child’s day, even online. Kids prioritize play, and with our support educators are leveraging play when teaching virtually in order to keep kids engaged, active, and to build community.…

kids and adult doing yoga
kids and adult doing yoga

October 6, 2020

Using Play to Foster Social Connections and Physical Activity ›

Play isn’t just fun and games – it’s a vital aspect of our health and well-being. When we play, we engage our bodies, minds, and senses, creating opportunities for increased physical activity, learning, and connection with others. Play can even help relieve stress and support the development of important social-emotional skills, including communication and cooperation.…