We at Safe Routes love that getting kids active and outside is part of our job. But it's a big job. Luckily there are other "old school" practices that build exercise into the daily lives of our young people. Practices like playing games during recess!
"What games to play?" you might ask. Well Dr. Stavroula Osganian, of Children's Hospital Boston, has an answer.
Announcing the healthiest and most popular kid games
We all know that recess can be healthy and fun. But how do we get the best of both worlds?
That question was the focus of a new project at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the Clinical Research Program at Children's Hospital Boston.
The project's research team, led by Dr. Stavroula Osganian, recently created a recess environment for children and studied 30 different games, including Stop and Go, Tag, and Monkey in the Middle. Researchers examined every game to determine how much energy kids expend playing them.
Then came the real test. After kids finished playing, the researchers asked kids to rank how much fun they had in each game.
By combining its findings, the research team has created the ultimate list of the healthiest, most exciting and most enjoyable recess activities. According to the research, the top four energy-burning, kid-approved games were:
The team has begun to share its findings with schools in order to make recess as physically active and fun as possible.
- Stop and Go
- Pirate's Treasure
- Dragon's Tail
- Capture the Flag
Schools use the games to help kids who face particular risks and need activities that get their heart working and help burn calories. Teachers also share the games with groups of children to encourage an energy filled recess, which helps kids stay focused when they return to class.
Thanks to this new research, schools have a great new tool to keep their kids moving in a healthy direction... while keeping the focus on play. Check out the directions for all 30 tested games and let us know what you think!