Let Kids Move: Why kids need opportunities to move and play in school

I live here in Michigan, And we've had a whole string of snow days lately. And for my kids it's been like an endless recess. sledding and snow forts and snowball fights, and getting together with the neighbor kids and playing for hours and hours outside. It’s felt like the good old days, before video games and tablets. It's been cold, but for an eight and a 9-year-old, there's nothing quite like a snow day.

And it reminds me how much children need to play. they need to move. I see this seemingly endless energy they have out here in the snow, and I think about how so much of their days at school are spent sitting inside. Now my kids have amazing teachers who get them up and moving, but the typical structure of a school day just doesn't require this type of physical activity, this expenditure of energy, and it's energy they clearly have to expend. Sometimes I'm not so sure two 15 minute recesses is enough. Sometimes I wonder if behavioral problems in the classroom are largely a result of making children with this much energy, sit at a desk for hours on end.

This is why I'm a fan of Outdoor Learning, class gardens, outdoor classrooms. It's why I'm a huge fan of PE, and think it's a travesty when programs like that get cut. kids need to move at school. It’s developmental; it’s human. And I'll tell you, after days of moving and playing for hours, they sleep a lot better at night.