All Work and No Play
In many school districts, free time that is outdoor play, and even total physical education programs are being limited from the school day in an effort to meet the guidelines of the core subjects--reading, writing, science, social studies and math. Students work harder academically, but are being deprived of physical activity and sports during the day. Students without physical activity cannot reap the benefits of stress relief that sport, exercise and even walking can provide. Students learn better when provided with stress relief through daily sport. Interactions with peers, oxygen to the brain and muscles, weight control and a break from classroom structure are advantageous to students.
Through outdoor play and traditional physical education games and sports, students learn social interaction, how to play on a team, proper conduct toward rivals, and discipline. Some have raised concerns against Wii Fit in school as technology causes less social interaction. We have seen a shift toward a technology-driven society, with the use of computers, and cell-phones.
What has happened to the games four square, hopscotch and around the world? These games require students to play together, learn from one another, take turns, and learn that it is OK to lose sometimes. These interactive games promote health, not only on a daily basis, but teamwork, setting and accomplishing goals, and sportsmanship too.
Traditional games and sports will teach students social interaction and to move away from the television, not toward it. Parents and teachers alike can model sport in children’s everyday life through modeling and allowing students to play. When children have daily sport exercise in life, whether in the classroom or at home, they may become lifelong exercisers naturally.