bouncingWhen I was a kid I couldn’t sit still.

I fidgeted in school. And at home. And pretty much everywhere. When I literally bounced off the walls in my bedroom, my grandmother yelled up the stairs “STOP RUBBLING AND GO OUTSIDE!” (English wasn’t her first language, but I’m pretty sure “rubbling” isn’t a word in any language). Going outside helped wonders!

I could only imagine how much worse I would be today. I didn’t have the “advantage” of today’s kids. We didn’t have 24-hour children’s channels on cable, video games or handhelds. We didn’t have “don’t tap the white tile,” candy crush” or “farm heroes.” Thank goodness! I would have been a wreck.

In school, kids are not moving around outdoors enough anymore. Recess is shorter than ever, and physical education classes are being cut left and right.   This is a HUGE problem: As pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hansco explains in her blog:

“We need to fix the underlying issue. Recess times need to be extended, and kids should be playing outside as soon as they get home from school. Twenty minutes of movement a day is not enough! They need hours of play outdoors in order to establish a healthy sensory system and to support higher-level attention and learning in the classroom.”

I agree. Right At School currently serves some 20,000 students at recess and after school every day. We are committed to keeping our students moving, whether in formal sports or silly games—moving is the key. And outdoors whenever possible! Ask any teacher–when kids have fun and move around at recess, they’re ready to learn when they get back in the classroom.

This is as important at home too—and here’s where I could use your advice. We’re great at keeping your children moving outdoors at school, but I could use your advice for my backyard. Our old decrepit swing set finally had to go, and at 9 years old Hannah is less and less interested in the neighborhood playground. If anyone has recommendations for what I can put in the backyard for evening and weekend physical activity, shoot me a note at mark.rothschild@rightatschool.com. I don’t want Hannah to start “rubbling!”

PS. If Right At School is not offering our recess program at your school, ask your principal to give us a call! We’d love to be there!

Mark

Don’t Ask Your Kids These QuestionsTeaching Frugality