Global School Play Day 2018
Posted On:
Thursday, February 08, 2018
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This was the 3rd year that East Street and Chapin Street elementary schools participated in a celebration of the nationwide event, Global School Play Day, that takes place in classrooms across the world.  Due to a snow day the event  took place on February 8th. According to their  website the purpose of this day is to raise awareness of the necessity of unstructured play at school.

“Students interacted with each other,” remarked Nikki Reed, Chapin Street Principal, following the celebration, “They played, worked cooperatively and most importantly, simply had fun with classmates.  The student smiles were overflowing.”

Each school scheduled 40-60 minutes for unstructured play in each of their classrooms.  A letter of explanation went home to parents with a request that students arrive to school with a toy/game they wanted to play with. Suggestions included, board games, dolls, Legos, blocks, trucks, cars, race tracks, playing cards, empty cardboard boxes, markers, jigsaw puzzles, etc. There were a few restrictions - no toy weapons, electronic devices, and the toys could not require batteries or electricity.  

Teachers at both schools were instructed not to organize anything, but to simply allow students to spread their toys and games around the classrooms. It was a time for the teachers to stand back and be invisible;  allowing students to just play. This was a day of unstructured play, not playful teacher-led lessons.  

“Global School Play Day reminds us all of the importance of free play in our children's' lives,” commented Thomas Welch, East Street Principal. “With covering all the state standards, assessment data and state testing, not to mention tablets, smartphones and TV, we tend to forget that children need to learn to freely collaborate with each other through unsupervised play.”  

Reed was delighted at the imagination and positive energy the Chapin Street students displayed, “Experiencing unstructured play and student-guided discovery provided students the opportunity to just be kids, have fun with each other and hopefully make new friends.”

The Cat in the Hat once said , Look at me! Look at me! Look at me NOW! It is fun to have fun but you have to know how. From all accounts, on this Global School Play Day, all students knew how to have fun, having fun!

Photos submitted by Chapin Street teachers.

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