Exercising Your Child’s Body, Mind, Heart
and Spirit in Nature
Because our academics are structured and ordered, Recess is a necessary outlet for children’s natural energy and vitality. Recess is very important for fostering friendships, exercising the body, releasing energy, balancing the mind, and interacting with the natural world.
The playground is a safe place for children to take physical and social risks. Teachers supervising the playground are fully engaged in watching for children’s physical safety as well as their social and emotional well-being. Children are given the proper tools with which to solve conflicts and other issues that arise during playtime. During Recess, we encourage creative, imaginative play, and instill kindness and compassion in children.
As they enjoy Recess, children exercise their bodies through informal, un-pressured play. Physical activity is a particularly important component in advancing the growth of the body, mind and emotions. Movement stimulates the brain, and provides it with the neural growth that is needed for cognitive development. We provide children with plenty of room and opportunities to develop coordination and balance, to dance to rhythms and melodies, and to exercise their muscles and imaginations on the grounds.
After having to sit still, focus, and concentrate for academic lessons, pre-school children are given the opportunity to balance themselves by playing in the dirt or sandbox. Playing with the elements stimulates their imaginations, helps with fine and gross motor development--and best of all, it is neither plastic nor electronic! Occasionally, children may spontaneously engage in what we call “mud play”. This kind of intense mud play seems to fulfill some very basic need in humans big and small. It helps to reduce aggression, channels energy and creativity. It is utterly absorbing and relaxing for many children.
Mud-play came about when Anneliese observed that the children who played most with mud had behavioral difficulties. She found that these children were calmed by playing with mud. Mud-play focused their minds and lessened their anxieties. The benefits of this unrestricted play are enormous.