It's Play Time with Playworks Michigan

Negative school playground experiences are, unfortunately, often part of childhood. But a national nonprofit called Playworks is changing that with play and games that boost kids’ social and emotional learning. And it’s growing here at home.

“Recess can be a difficult time during the day, with a lot of conflict that kids have a hard time resolving,” says Angela Rogensues, executive director of Playworks Michigan. “Adults and kids aren’t always given the tools to create a safe and inclusive space, and (conflict) spills over into the classroom.”

Over the next two years, 15 Michigan schools, mostly K-5, are adopting Playworks thanks to a major grant. Joining districts like Detroit, Ferndale and more, they’ll get training and learn strategies to “run their own version,” Rogensues says.

Playworks has a library of games that are inviting, cooperative and deemphasize specific sports skills. Foursquare is designed so kids continually rotate through, allowing a schoolmate to take their place. When a child leaves a game, high-fives are exchanged and coaches encourage phrases like “good job” or “nice try,” focusing on effort vs. result. Or, in “animal tag,” a tagged player continues to play, but as a different animal than before.

The research-based techniques are geared at making recess safer, inclusive and focused on social/emotional wellbeing.

As a result, Playworks – active in Michigan since 2012 – estimates state schools save 22 hours of instructional time per year, or eight minutes each day: “Kids were able to play during recess and return to class ready to jump back into learning,” says Rogensues.

Schools in these local districts have adopted Playworks:

  • Chippewa Valley
  • Dearborn
  • Fitzgerald
  • Fraser
  • Grosse Pointe
  • L’Anse Creuse
  • South Redford
  • Van Dyke
  • Warren Consolidated
  • Wyandotte

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

LATEST STORIES

5 Ways to Prepare Your Kids for COVID-19 Vaccine

Have a shot-wary kid? Here’s how to prepare them for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Family Fun Things to Do This Weekend in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Looking for some family fun? Check out our list of events and other things to do this weekend.

Are You Teaching Your Kids to Wipe Their Butts Properly?

It's a given for grown-ups but new turf for little ones. So how do you teach kids to wipe their butts properly? A metro Detroit pediatrician has the scoop.

8 Bad Apps for Kids That You Don’t Want on Their Phones

Discover some of the top bad apps for kids. Plus, a metro Detroit expert shares safety tips that go beyond monitoring what kids do on that smart device.


- Advertisement -