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Should school children have structured recess?

Asked at Hy-Vee, 4000 W. Sixth St. on March 16, 2010

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Photo of Sally Cloar

“No, children’s lives are structured enough as it is.”

Photo of Jan Stinson

“Not every day, two out of five (days).”

Photo of Josh King

“No, I think they should just be allowed to run free and do whatever they want.”

Photo of Colten Katz

“No, I think I like the idea of organized chaos. … Let the kids develop their own imagination.”


Flap Doodle 7 years ago

Give the little nippers some lawn darts & turn 'em loose.

BorderRuffian 7 years ago

Why is it that we adults seem to think that every minute of our kids lives needs to be structured? Why not let them just play once in a while? Why are we in such a hurry to make them just like our over-stressed, neurotic selves? Perhaps is it us who need a little unstructured time and space just to unwind and act naturally.

LadyJ 7 years ago

Took care of a kid for awhile that had been in preschool since he was an infant. The child could not go into a room of toys, books, and crafts and find anything to do. Would just stand there until you told him what to play with. Took months until he would just do something himself.

Mel Briscoe 7 years ago

what's the point of recess if you can't go buck wild and do what you want?

mom_of_three 7 years ago

Isn't that the point of recess? To run wild and do what you want. Don't most kids find something to do on their own?

timetospeakup 7 years ago

I think "structured recess" is what they have now in PE class. Leave recess alone, it's supposed to be a break.

Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years ago

What the heck is a structured recess? No no and no you are only a child once.

labmonkey 7 years ago

Okay LJworld and JKealing....why can we not have the accompanying article linked to the OTS? I am really interested in reading if this is just a bad idea being discussed, or if some hair-brained administrator is actually trying to implement this.

labmonkey 7 years ago

Okay LJworld and JKealing....why can we not have the accompanying article linked to the OTS? I am really interested in reading if this is just a bad idea being discussed, or if some hair-brained administrator is actually trying to implement this.

Kat Christian 7 years ago

BordorRuffin you just hit it on the nose. We adults have no time for such freedom of expression because we are so consumed with structure. Reason there are murders, aruguments, job loss, just angry, uptight, stressed out people. Probably on of the reasons heart disease has risen. Even when we have an off time it is harried and structured with something. Nothing wrong with a little idle time to get the creative juices flowing, to smile at a stranger or laugh at the irony of life.

George_Braziller 7 years ago

Recess is structured by the kids themselves. We were always organizing and making up our own games. Sometimes it was just a group of four or five having "swing races," other times it was the entire class deciding to play dodge ball. One activity would be popular for two or three days and then we'd switch to something new.

Susan Lee 7 years ago

Oh, please, let them use their imaginations during this FREE time!

Back in the early sixties, in my fifth grade class, we had no recess choices. In good weather we had to play baseball or kickball, in bad weather we all had to slide on this gigantic frozen puddle area on the playground. (can you imagine the legal implications of that today?)

I absolutely loved school, but those were the longest of days and I dreaded recess!

Jaylee 7 years ago

oh man that would have been so cool to be talking with friends and waiting for finish that game of H-O-R-S-E or kickball from before school or the day before, but the teachers all lead us single file to the four square box


denak 7 years ago

I think structure is important for kids (ie a structured bedtime) but kids learn better when they are just allowed to play.

It is hard for adults to work 8, 9 hours a day imagine what how hard it is for kids. Let them go out and just run wild and have fun, blow some steam off. Kids need that more than "structured" recess.


LoveThsLife 7 years ago

No, unstructured play is important to child development.

KansasPerson 7 years ago

What great memories came back when I read the comments. Four-square, jump-rope, kickball, and all the crazy kid games like Mother May I, Mimsies, Crack the Whip.... I like those red kickballs we used to use. Never saw one like that outside of a school playground. Playing on the swings and the monkey bars. Playing jacks if we could find a smooth space; practicing cheers and handstands and such. Boys running around trying to flip up the girls' skirts and yelling, "It's Dress-Up Day!" .... you'd get sent home from school, at least, for that these days!

I'm all for non-structured recess. Shoot, I sometimes had fun just bouncing a ball against a wall or a flight of steps.

Do they still have children as "Safeties?" Remember, they wore an orange belt?

jumpin_catfish 7 years ago

Structure is the downfall of civilization.

KansasPerson 7 years ago

Bea, you must not live too near a school. :) They sure do get recess, and they scream just as loudly as we ever did!

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

maybe supervised by someone who would not be afraid to give bully types a great big time out.

Otherwise let them burn off a few calories.

Linda Endicott 7 years ago

Why in the world would anyone think every minute of a kid's life should be structured around something?

Let kids be kids...they'll have enough structure later on in life...

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