I was really obsessed with recess, especially in the fourth and fifth grades. I was a creature of habit in terms of what part of the playground I liked to occupy every single day. Would you consider yourself a hopscotch pro? I do, because I literally played it every single day when I was nine. Sigh, I remember it like it was yesterday!
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement where they back the importance of recess for kids. Win! Even though I’m not a doctor, I couldn’t agree more considering how much I enjoyed recess. Once you get to high school, college, and then adult life, it’s kind of sad that there isn’t a point in your day to just run around and hang out with your friends.
Still, here are ten life lessons we’ve learned from the days of recess (we miss it so much!):
Enjoy The Simple ThingsSometimes things that seem really simple actually end up being the most fun. Hopscotch is basically just tossing a rock and hopping up and down. With chalk, you can basically make it anywhere. But still, I wanted to play this all the time at recess. Just because something seems kind of simple, don't underestimate how much joy you can get from it. Source: Shutterstock.com
Hold On When Things Get CrazyIf hopscotch was my fourth grade activity, the tire swing was fifth grade. We'd get them to spin super fast, and a few times it felt like I was going to go flying off. By just taking a deep breath and holding on tight, I was always able to get through it. Taking that same approach to life obstacles works pretty well too. Source: Shutterstock.com
Be DaringAt recess, I did some things on monkey bars that looking back were pretty unsafe. I'm not advocating for that at all, but I think the attitude of not being scared to try new things is a good one. I hate heights, but I used to climb on top of the monkey bars and sit up there watching the whole playground. It's nice to take a cue from my younger self that being a little daring can have positive outcomes. Source: Shutterstock.com
Try Thinking In A New WaySlides are pretty straightforward - you sit and go down them. Maybe that's what made climbing up slides so appealing, because it was breaking the rules a little. Okay, maybe climbing up slides wasn't the safest thing, but it did show that thinking outside the box could result in something new that was still fun and enjoyable. Source: Shutterstock.com
A Little Effort Goes A Long WayPumping your legs while on a swing is such a simple motion, but it's the difference between barely getting off the ground and getting so high you're worried you'll loop over the top bar. With just a little bit more effort, things get a lot more fun real fast, so putting in even a little bit more energy into your activities today could help make them that much more enjoyable and successful. Source: Shutterstock.com
The More, The MerrierIn school it was easy to always stick tight with my really close friends, but I did learn through recess that it is important to let other people join the group. I loved jumping rope on my own, but I had even more fun when we got a big group together and pulled out the long jump ropes and did all the fun rhymes. By letting more people be a part of your group, you'll have the opportunity to do new things - not to mention, make new friends. Source: Shutterstock.com
Know When To ApologizeOne of my most traumatic childhood memories happened during recess. I accidentally broke my friend's Skip-It when it hit the brick wall of our school... on her birthday. I felt so awful. Mistakes don't just happen at recess, but all throughout life. While they can be a real downer, if you own up and sincerely apologize, for the most part everyone is able to move on. Yes, even my birthday friend forgave me! Source: Shutterstock.com
Messes Are Part Of The ExperienceDuring recess, you're probably going to get dirt, cuts, callouses and blisters on your hands at some point. These kinds of uncomfortable situations may not always be the best parts of the experience for you, but these things generally don't last too long. When you think back on recess or just life in general, you're more likely to remember your fun experiences, so try not to get too caught up on the little things trying to trip you up along the way. Source: Shutterstock.com
Switch Things UpWhenever it rained or was too cold, there was always indoor recess. It was a nice change of pace from running around outside, and I got a chance to do some more low-key (but just as fun) activities, like board games. Even when you're older, switching up the fun schedule every once in a while is key to not getting bored. Source: Shutterstock.com
Imagine Away! But Know When To Come Back To RealityJust because you can imagine you are an awesome race car driver during recess with the playground steering wheel, it does not mean that these skills will translate when you learn how to drive an actual car. Imagination is always good, but it is also important to know when you need to face reality. Yeah, I had that taste of reality when I realized pretend driving and actual driving are very different skill sets. Source: Shutterstock.com
Did you love recess as a kid? Do you wish recess was still a part of your day? What was your favorite recess activity? Tell us in the comments!