Kids don't have to think very hard about why they need to play. They just need the time and space to do it.
Even so, kids seem to intuitively understand that while play is first and foremost about having fun, it's also about challenging oneself and learning from failure. As we continue to be baffled by school policy makers and administrators who are slashing recess and other play opportunities, fourth graders like Diego remind us of the important life lessons that our playgrounds have to offer.
Here is his eloquent ode to monkey bars:
You’ve taught me a lot of good lessons
You’ve taught me to be braver than I am
To swing out as far as I can
To keep pushing forward
To move one step at a time
To fall into a heap in the dirt
And then get up and try again
Monkey Bars, you’ve shown me the stars
- By Diego, 4th grade
Diego is a student in the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program, where this poem was originally featured.
Photo by Andy Schultz (cc).