All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
By Robyn B., ERG Coach
It’s the time of the year where kids trade in their beach bags for book bags; its back to school they go. Heading back to school after a summer of fun and relaxation can be a stressful process. Students are adjusting to new schedules, long school days, homework, and afterschool activities. Just because school is in session and summer has been dismissed doesn’t mean we have to pack up the fun and play, and we shouldn’t.
In today’s culture, hard work and productivity have taken over, but empirical data suggest that allotting time for play and leisure is also important (Pellegrini & Bohn-Gettler, 2013). It has been observed that play and fun are important to human happiness (A4PT, 2015). In fact some of history’s key scholars, Aristotle and Plato, acknowledge play as a fundamental and beneficial part of life (A4PT). Play has many physical, cognitive, and social benefits (Pellegrini & Bohn-Gettler, 2013). Play has even been shown to increase school performance, classroom behavior, and attention (Pellegrini & Bohn-Gettler, 2013).
Play is a great way for students to de-stress and research shows that as little as 15 minutes can make a difference (Pellegrini & Bohn-Gettler, 2013). After a long day of school work followed by homework filled nights it is important to have some time to unwind and recharge. Play doesn’t have to be meaningless and in fact there are lots of ways to incorporate learning into play. Board games, video games, arts and crafts, and books can all provide opportunities for children to incorporate academic related themes and lessons into play. Even outside play can provide reinforcement for topics in science, math, and history while also providing physical and social benefits (Pellegrini & Bohn-Gettler, 2013).
While school bells are beginning to ring and students are working hard for those A’s and B’s let’s remember to incorporate some time for fun and play in their week to revitalize their minds and make for happy learners. It will attribute to a productive, happy, and less stressful school year.