It is February, and in Canada, that means winter! Whether you live in the milder climate of British Columbia or the colder areas of Nunavut, the Yukon or the Northwest Territories, you will know that winter brings cold, rain, and snow, as well as crisp sunny days that remind you of how beautiful our country is in every season.
Global Play Day was initiated to remind us that unstructured, unplanned play is not only fun, but an important part of every child’s development. It encourages social skills, relationship skills, creative thinking, and physical activity. Unlike many of the electronic games that students choose to play, unstructured and unplugged play requires communication, respect, interactivity, compromise, and cooperation.
The goal of this day is to have students engage in unplugged, no battery, no screen, no technology play! All ages can benefit from this experience.
Before engaging in this fun day, you may want to watch the Ted Talk by Peter Gray, who shares his thoughts on the decline of play and how it has impacted our children.
Special considerations for 2021: During the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for students to have ways to reduce stress, exercise the body and mind, and engage in play. Many may be missing the opportunity to engage with others physically and socially. By encouraging creative ways to enjoy unstructured play, we are helping students to remain healthy, active, and ready to learn.
Here are a few guidelines and suggestions to make your Global School Play Day an annual event.
Ask students to report back after their play activity.
The length of time for the play day is up to you and your schedule.
Process the activity the next day by asking:
Close by inviting students to engage in wireless play more often. Encourage them to invent new games, play outside more in any weather and change up the rules of some of the games they play often.