Let them play! Let Them Play! was the chant in my head this morning as I was thinking of the day ahead. It was from the movie from when I was a kid, Bad News Bears.

Global School Play Day is a day to just play. Scott Bedley and his brother Tim Bedley are some of the organizers for this event. The event encourages us to take a day to learn through play. Whether it be board games, outdoor games, creating games or even playing in a sandbox. “In his TEDx lecture, Peter Gray clearly argues the case that today’s kids do not grow up playing and this has negatively impacted them in many ways. It’s time we return the gift of play to this generation.”

So my fourth and fifth graders spent today doing just that. It was fun seeing them excited this morning holding their games they had brought. I even had a parent tell me that her son was up an hour earlier to come to school today. I tweeted that out and was retweeted and favorited many of times. I was sent a message from another parent through ClassDojo on how much his daughter was looking forward to this day. She was excited to come to school with her game to play with others.

Students played and played all day. Games ranged from simple board games to the strategic game of chess. We even went outside and played with some chalk. Students interacted with each other, played and had fun. Here are some of the tweets from the day:

These students even played in the snow. Now that is what I remember as a kid growing up in the Buckeye State, near Cleveland, Ohio.

During the morning we even connected with Scott Bedley’s 5th grade classroom via Skype to see what the students would do. There was some interaction and some attempts at communication between the two classes, but it was nice to see another class have as much fun as we did today. Student’s took pictures on their iPads and are eager to blog about their experience today. I will post when they become available.

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It was a very fun day and I think the students walked away with an experience they don’t get to have often. An experience that incorporates school and school friends and peers. This allowed students to interact with each other in more of a social setting. They shared emotional connections.

There was mostly laughter, sharing and smiles around. One instance, a student went by herself to put a puzzle together. She said she didn’t want to play any games and nobody wanted to play hers. I think there was some emotional social struggles going on. It seem to have worked itself out as she was playing her game and others soon after. Another time, a student was at her desk coloring. I asked her why she was coloring, she said she just needed a break. The noise level was up and I can even identify with just being alone for a few minutes. As I enjoy the quiet writing this post, it was worth the noise to see the interaction and joy that was here today. It was nice to connect with another class and we definitely will be doing this again.