“Play is the work of the child.”
Kids have a right to play however they want. To be crazy and go nuts. To express the wild visions and dreams that only kids can come up with. Our mission at Toys“R”Us is to set play free, and help kids everywhere, have the best childhood ever.
So join us in our fight to make the attack on play a thing of the past!
Every kid should have the opportunity to play every day, whether it’s on their school playground or in their neighborhood. That’s why we're happy to share inspo from the team at Playworks, who are bringing play back to kids across the U.S.
Play has benefits that make us function as better humans. Check out these ideas and discover how to uncover inner super powers.
At Playworks, we know firsthand that safe and fun recess unlocks kids’ super powers and improves their lives and well-being. Our educators and coaches witness this daily on playgrounds nationwide. In fact, of educators surveyed at our partner schools during the 2016-17 school year:
- 95% reported an increase in the level of cooperation among students
- 98% reported an increase in the number of students who are physically active on the playground
- 85% reported that Junior Coaches take on a leadership role at recess
Self-Improvement Lessons from Junior Coaches
Playworks Junior Coaches are the superheroes on the playground. These fourth- and fifth-graders lead games at recess and teach fair play and conflict resolution to their classmates. Playworks Junior Coach lessons are all of our lessons. They are timeless, priceless self-improvement tips we can all use to help unlock our own super powers.
Here are a few lessons Playworks Junior Coach have learned on the playground that we can apply to improve ourselves every day:
1. It’s how you do it
What matters most is not how much time you spend doing something but how you do it. Focus on making the best effort you possibly can and giving your full attention rather than focusing on the amount of time you log.
2. Be a leader
It is important to step up and be a leader, not a follower. Push yourself to take more responsibility and work hard to inspire and motivate others around you.
3. More than one way to communicate
There are many ways to talk to other people. Everyone is different so it is important to try and find the best way to communicate with other people.
4. Work hard for it
If you want to accomplish something, you have to work hard at it to get it accomplished.
5. Be a positive role model
Help others unlock the best in themselves by putting your best self forward. Your positivity is infectious. Once you model positive behavior, others will follow suit.
6. You don’t have to play rough
Many times, kids assume you have to play rough on the playground. This is not true and it is important to teach others that there are many ways to approach something.
7. Be assertive
It’s important to ask more questions and talk more. Use your assertive voice.
8. Responsible & respectful
We can always be more responsible and more respectful of others.
9. Have fun
Don't forget to have fun. Finding pleasure in whatever you are doing will keep you engaged and open up new opportunities to learn and grow.
Sometimes it's just too hard to pick someone to be "It". In this case, why not play a game where every player gets to be it! In this fun tag game, all players can be both tagged and tag others. But be careful, a tag results in a wound that needs a bandage. Luckily there's a special hospital nearby that will heal you so you can get back in the game when you're out of bandages.
Group Size: Large group (10 or more)
Age Group: Grades 1-5
Length of Activity: Under 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination Equipment: None
Before You Start:
Demonstrate safe tagging: Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder, upper arm or upper back.
Unsafe tags: Hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
Review what to do when you get tagged
Make sure players know where the hospital is and how to be fixed.
Designate a clear playing area using cones or sidewalk chalk to mark clear boundaries. Designate a hospital outside the play area using visible boundaries.
How to Play:
In this game, every player is "It" and can both tag others and be tagged. If a player is tagged, that player must take one hand and put it directly on the place where they were tagged. The hand is a Band-Aid. After being tagged once, players continue to run around, avoid being tagged and attempt to tag others, but they must keep their Band-Aid on and therefore only has one free hand.
If a player is tagged again, they must take the other hand and place it on the second spot where tagged. The player can still continue to run around with both Band-Aid on.
If any player is tagged a third time, they have to go to the hospital and do five jumping jacks (pre-determined) to get back in.
Players can be treated at the hospital by counting to 20 and then return to the game without any Band-Aids.
Players can go to the hospital at any time to remove any Band-Aids. They do not have to wait until they are tagged the second or third time.
Allow players to heal themselves by stepping anywhere outside the boundaries to do the jumping jacks or other action.
Vary the speed of the game by having all player use different footwork, such as move like you are walking through glue, like you are creating static electricity, or like you are a bunny.