Posted in: Education

Posted on: 14 December 2011

Just got this disturbing little note from reader Jeff Johnson who, I am happy to say, is writing a book about the importance of play. 

Just wondered if any of you have about the death of games like tag on school playgrounds?

I volunteer in a local nursery school once a week. Last Thursday I had this exchange with some students during playtime.

Me: Let’s play some freeze tag!

Child #1: We aren’t supposed to play tag.

Child #2: Yeah, you want to get us in trouble or something?

Me: What kind of rule is that? Why can’t you play tag?

Child #3: ‘Cus it’s The Rule.

Child #4: (Whispering, as if the playground is bugged ): We still play sometimes in secret when the teachers are just talking.

I emailed the headmaster and she says it is just “too dangerous” with so many kids on the playground.

In a year, this school will merge with another into a shiny new building (which looks kind of like a perky prison) with over 700 older students. I’m afraid to think about what will classified as too dangerous then?

UPDATE: Today at playtime I learned that the children are not allowed to play in and/or with snow on the playground. The children are restricted to the cleared tarmac area of the playground. I also saw two great looking perfect-for-play sticks taken away from children and put in protective custody.

I shudder to think what would happen to a child caught playing tag in the snow while holding a stick?



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