Let Them Play

Last week, students were freaking out about an IB History test they had. And this gave me an idea. Our students need to be able to decompress more and what better way to do that than to play? 

I am very fortunate to have library workers who are amazing and help me on a daily basis. They shelve, help with displays, check students (and books) in and out of the library, cut lamination, and so much more! They are a vital part to my success (and sanity) as a school librarian. 

In fact, they do so much for me that the last couple of Fridays, I told them to go play! Now, because I am working with other students in the library I didn’t mean to go outside or leave the library, but we got all our games out. Cards, board games, fidgets, slinkies, puzzles – you name it, we got it out. We made a mess! 

Watching my students get into games they haven’t played since they were kids was heartwarming. Hearing the laughter of a kid (no matter what their age) brings joy to my life and a smile to my face. Laughter and the joy of kids are one of the main reasons why I got into education. 

For the last couple of weeks, the kids have played Old Maid (the card game) and have been laughing and talking. They are even inviting other students to play who aren’t necessarily in their friend group. It warms my heart to see this. By including others, it broadens each student’s horizon and in turn, builds them to be better people by learning about others.  

Of course, the students playing weren’t the only ones in the library at the time. Though the space is smaller we had the students playing games off to one side in a corner area so the other students could use the rest of the library. Students who needed quiet to focus could use the quiet study room. 

There’s so much other stuff besides what we pulled out that I have that we use for our makerspace but I haven’t had time to break it out this year and wanted to just give my kids time to decompress. 

It’s that time of year when testing is starting, and for us, IB essays and internal assessments (IAs) are hitting hard. I really think it’s time to just let our students (especially our high school students) play.

Yes, I know we all know that students need to decompress (especially the students who don’t get recess), but I hope this comes as a gentle reminder that all kids need the time to play. 

Oh yeah, and we did clean up the mess. 😉