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, hide-and-seek, Simon Says, Red Light/Green Light, and free-play on the play structure, in the play house, and riding tricycles. 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.
Team-based sports such as basketball and soccer our introduced here in a non-competitive manner. Children practice fine-motor skills, gross-motor control such as balance and coordination, hand-eye coordination, and basic sports concepts. Young children also learn how to pedal a tricycle and coast on a balance bike.
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 activities for children to choose from.
We have a small play structure with two toddler slides, a large sandbox, a bike path, two mud kitchens, a water table, sensory table, art easel, play house, vegetable/fruit/edible flower garden, and child-size table for quiet activities. We also have a hammock swing and adult sized furniture for relaxing in if parents want to join us outside.
Artificial turf is used for both environmental and practical concerns. This eliminates grass allergies and reactions.