Return to Recess: Play Shouldn’t End With Childhood

by Kim Saffran


When we first think of it, our minds go back childhood.  Childhood equates to recess and play!

We may even have some pretty positive memories of when we used to play.  It was fun.  It was easy and it was also a time when we didn’t bother to think about all the great benefits that play afforded us – we just had a good time.  It was simply, the thing to do.

“Go outside and play!”

“Can (so and so) come out to play?”

Play was everywhere when we were young.  Now… we’re older, and you may be asking yourself, “Hmm.  Am I too old to play?”  The answer is no.  You’re certainly not too old to play.

If you’re not sure what I’m alluding to, perhaps, the following will help clarify a few crucial points…

Play provides movement.

Play provides laughter.

Play promotes self-expression.  As no two people are exactly alike – neither are their ways of approaching an activity the exact same way.   We also move naturally – just as we’re meant to and while our tendency may be to seek approval or to appear “capable,” the idea of play is simply that we “let go” – maybe even be amused.


Play is an opportunity to lose the “adult mind-set” and is a GREAT STRESS-BUSTER!!

Play is pretty unstructured.  Sure, games and activities are set up for you but the idea is to move freely, and have fun – as only you can.


(and that’s a biggie!  Especially for the “adult” in us).

Play helps release our emotional “holds” – as movement encourages the release of tension that we tend to hold in our bodies – thereby leaving us relaxed.

Play fuels the imagination.  It allows us to explore new ways of addressing, approaching and solving.

Play encourages connections.  By attempting new activities, we may view ourselves more clearly while discovering personal strengths or areas in which to endeavor.  Plus, we can also learn about cooperative efforts and how to build bridges to others.


With all the great benefits of “Recess” and play you wonder, “Hmm.  Maybe, I should play, too!” If you’d like to check it out, perhaps “Return 2 Recess” is a good place to start.

There are activity stations such as hula hoops and jump ropes.  There’s even hopscotch!  There’s target practice and dribbling big, fun, colorful playground balls.  Then, there are group games and team games, even relays (some of which don’t even require any running).  I mean, this stuff is fun!

Hula hooping at UNC

Now then, isn’t it time YOU came out to play??

Kim SaffranKim Saffran has a M.S. in the Health Sciences & Health Education, a B.S. in Physical Education and has been coaching (and loving it!) for over 16 years.

She is an advocate for healthy, sustainable living and PLAY!

For details on Return2Recess, please feel free to reach out to Kim at: or visit: for more info (and there’s a lot of info!)


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