Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Importance of Play(ing) the snow

We get one or two good snows around here a year, if we are lucky.  By good snow, I mean enough to play in but not so much that children can't maneuver in it.  A few inches of fluffy, glorious snow that draws kids outside into temperatures they would otherwise not choose to play in. 

In the two days that we've been out of school, my daughters have spent at least five hours (thus far) out in the bitter cold.  When they come in their cheeks are red, their noses are running, and their eyes are shining.  For some of those hours, my husband and I have joined them.  We have gone sledding, played on two snow-covered playgrounds, and tried (without success with this powdery stuff) to build a snowman. 

Hooray for snow and all the fun it brings.  Hooray for the extra playtime it brings our way.

Until tomorrow, when they go back to school and can't go near it.  When recess time rolls around the kids will have indoor play, either in their classrooms or in the gym.  I'm not sure why.  But I know they aren't supposed to get near the snow.

After the last snow, a friend in Pennsylvania emailed around a copy of a letter her son's teacher sent home.  It asked parents to send in snow pants and boots so the children, third graders, could enjoy the snow during recess.  Right on.

We all know about the importance of play--especially physical play.  So what if the kids get wet.  So what if the floors get wet.  Their shouts of joy, their enthusiasm, their complete immersion in fun, are worth it.