Schools Reprioritize Playtime To Boost Concentration

PBS Newshour has an excellent video “Why recess and physical education are making a comeback” (7min 30sec) which discusses how schools are learing exercise and playtime can help children learn. April Brown interviews Tom O’Nell the program coordinator of Playworks and others regarding their insights.

Tight budgets and high-stakes tests can lead schools to cut time for the arts, physical education and even recess to make more room for academics. But taking away exercise may be counterproductive. The NewsHour’s April Brown reports on how nonprofit Playworks helps schools reincorporate play into their day.

Tom O’Nell of Playworks pointed out how playtime and games contribute to our social order.

TOM O’NEILL: By playing games, we learn how to socialize with each other. We learn about fair play and respecting each other. If we don’t play those games, how are we supposed go out and have a conversation with somebody if we can’t even play a game with them?

Teacher Kim Morrow’s empirical evidence indicates strong support.

KIM MORROW, teacher: It’s like a different class. You can tell they have had a good time. They have expended a lot of energy and they are ready to focus and settle down.

APRIL BROWN: And even though you wouldn’t know it today, third grade teacher Kim Morrow used to absolutely dread recess.

KIM MORROW: I just didn’t look forward to kids coming out and just getting in arguments. It was very stressful. But now that never happens. It’s like you go out, the kids are having fun. We can have fun with them and it’s just a positive time.

Contact Kids ‘N Shape for playtime and fitness play.

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