This past weekend I took the kids to their elementary school playground. All three kids (10, 7.5, and 3.5) found plenty to enjoy about having the equipment and the large grassy field totally to themselves. But the main thing they relished was the chance to break, bend, or ignore all the ridiculous playground rules they have to abide by during the week.
Charlotte: “I’m going to break ALL the playground rules. I’m going to swing really high on the swing, then I’m going to jump off. Both of those are rules.”
Evelyn, chiming in: “Yeah, I’m walking on top of the parallel bars. We’re not allowed to do that at recess.”
Calvin: “I want to break the rules, too, Charlotte!”
Charlotte: “Well, you can do that by spinning your swing more in circles than back and forth. I’m going to climb UP the slide, then slide down head first! It’s great breaking all the school playground rules!”
Evelyn and Charlotte ran over to a tree that’s perfect for climbing and scrambled up into the branches. “We’re not allowed to do this at recess, either! Yay for tree climbing!” said Evelyn.
A minute later, Charlotte is hanging upside down on the parallel bars, her dress up around her head: “Look! I’m breaking this rule too, hanging with no hands on the bars.”
Evelyn: “You’re also breaking the rule about not hanging with your underwear showing! I want to play tag. That’s another thing we’re not allowed to do at recess. There is a girl in my class who always complained when she was tagged even though she was playing tag, so finally the teachers outlawed it. Anyone who gets caught playing tag at recess forfeits their recess for the rest of the year.”