Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Indoor Recess

Many years ago (like 13 or so) I took a day off of teaching to hang out with my sister and her adorable little boy (he was 2 or something).

She said, "Let's go to McDonald's for lunch. The one with the indoor playplace." You bet, I love the fries and a good Big Mac.

As we were eating, in the play area, I was appalled. Shocked. Horrified. My heart was hurting from fright. 

Remember, this was before I had any children of my own.

Kids were running. SCREAMING. Eating while running. Sliding on the slick floor in their socks. All the while I was looking around for the mother who had this "recess duty." But I never found her.

When my nephew finished his Happy Meal he was allowed to go play. But he did not venture very far. He stayed close to his mom, where he was safe and it wasn't so scary with all those big kids running around.

And I continued to observe the scene. An indoor recess gone bad.

Back in the safety and quiet of our own car I told my sister how I felt in there. The place where indoor recess had maxed out a safe limit. Or perhaps it was me trying to get those kids quiet and to stop having fun.
Now I have had 13 years of mothering experience. More years teaching. And a different understanding of how kids release the steam of the school day.
We are having a cold week or two here in Kansas. If the air temp or wind chill is below 32 we must stay in. The gym is either being used for PE class or lunch when we have our recesses.

So recess happens in our room. I love these kids, but sometimes I just have to use the ladies room. Or get something stronger to drink than water.

I hold my tongue at the noise. Oh the noise. I watch from afar. I busy myself with other tasks so that I don't spend much time thinking about how they are behaving (like children--wait, they are children).

Today I maxed out my ability to let the running and screaming happen in our room during recess. I made them stop. I said they had to stop for the safety of themselves and others. But really? Are they really going to run into a desk? And if they do what might happen? Perhaps they will need a cuddle, hug, and an ice pack. No biggie.

From the looks of the weather forecast we will be inside AGAIN tomorrow. I hope I get enough sleep tonight that tomorrow I can let them be the kids that they are. For 15 minutes. Twice in one day.

Pin It!


  1. Yikes, you have to stay in at 32? We go out even when it's very cold - I'm not even sure we have a minimum temp, but I know I've been out in the teens, brrr!

  2. Indoor recess. Sigh. It's below zero here in WI so we're having our fair share of it. You might like this indoor recess freebie at TpT:

    Growing Firsties is getting close to an amazing 400 follower GIVEAWAY, including Erin Condren!

  3. Hi Alyce,
    Such a cute blog you have here...I justfound you and am your newest follower. I am not a fan of indoor recess although we don't have them that often. It was 80 degrees here in So. Cal today. Hang in there. :0)
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

  4. Alyce,
    We send the kids out (in Michigan) when the temps or wind chill gets to zero. That's a far cry from your 32 degrees! We tell the kids to dress in layers as if they are going outside no matter what and then when they get to school, we'll tell them if they stay in or not.
    We have aides who supervise our classrooms during indoor recess. They are not allowed to run, chase, throw, etc. They have puzzles, board games, legos, knex, etc to play with. They can read, draw, or talk with each other. It is usually very calm when I come back and all things have been put away neatly. We love our aides who do so much to help us have an interrupted lunch. The biggest problem is when I want to go back to my room to get caught up on things. . . If I'm at my desk, the kids want to talk to me. I try to tell them that I'm invisible, but somehow they can always see me!
    Second In Line


I love reading your comments. Thanks for leaving one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...