One day last week I arrived at the school for my afternoon of carpool pickup. I arrived a few minutes earlier than normal and noticed that most the school was outside playing games, this was not recess as this is a middle school. While I watched the kids all laughing, enjoying the beautiful warm afternoon, I realized they were all in smaller groups of boys and girls and all playing a game of some sort. I noticed that there was one group with 2 boys and 3 girls and the boys were turning a jump rope while the girls played a jump rope game. Other groups were using hoola-hoops, throwing a Frisbee, playing catch with a football, basketball, hacky sac, kicking a rubber ball around or using yo-yos.
I noticed that all the kids were playing, none of the kids were just standing around talking or leaning against the wall. If you notice the list of activities they were playing you may also realize they were playing what would almost be considered “old-fashioned playground games”. I never see kids playing with a jump rope anymore and to see the boys turning the rope for the girls was fun to watch.
After the kids got in the car and I was asking what they were doing outside and I learned that the teachers just wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day and their only instructions for the free time was that they needed to all be playing a game. The kids formed the smaller groups by themselves and the kids randomly picked the toys they used for the games.