Similar to the program elementary schools have, Recess 101 aims to teach children basic game play and socialization skills needed on the playground. We rotate through playground games such as tag (regular, freeze, contagious, Sharks and Minnows), hide-and-seek, Simon Says, Red Light/Green Light, and free-play on the play structure, in the play house, and riding tricycles (helmets provided). Alone time is important for all ages, so children are always communicated with if they are alone to see if they are just having voluntary quiet time or if they are lonely and having a difficult time socializing. Sharing toys and space, resolving conflict, negotiating game roles, and making friends are skills we reenforce throughout the entire day, but especially during these play times.
In addition to and concurrent with the games played above, we teach team-based sports such as basketball, soccer, and T-ball. Lawn golf and parkour gymnastics are also included in the rotation of games and sports that are played daily. All sports equipment is included in the tuition. No special clothing is required, but our dress policy includes closed-toe shoes at all times because of our daily activities. If we are having our parkour gymnastics, I give advanced notice for shorts or pants to be worn that day. I also have spare clothes here if a parent forgets.
Here in California we don’t worry much about weather, but we have enough activities for indoor recess as if we lived in Alaska! (Thank you Pinterest!) If we are limited to the indoors, I set up gross-motor activities to get the children moving and having active fun. The long hallway is often transformed into a bowling alley, a “laser beam” obstacle course made from streamers, a basketball shooting area, our sack-toss game, and lots of other games (seriously, who knew how fun a hallway could be?!). We also play “hot lava” and other adventure games requiring crawling, jumping, and balancing. My favorite though? Having a dance party with Just Dance for the PS4!!!
Though separate from Recess 101 and Sports, I want to mention that I make sure the majority of active play is reserved for free time. Self-directed play is necessary for a balanced development, so there are lots of outdoor and inside toys and games for children to choose from. Both Recess 101 and Sports, as structured activities, are kept at a daily 10 to 15-minute time limit for this reason.