On tap for today, an article that dives deeper into the problem of aggressive (tag) games on the playground and why it seems as if children these days are more aggressive than those of yesteryear. In the wake of schools banning the ever popular playground game, Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist, sat down to explore the reasons behind the increase in aggressive behaviours, some of which you may have thought of before, and some of which you may have never considered.
So, why are children having a hard time harnessing their power? Hanscom writes:
Due to less time in active play these days, children are not developing the senses in their joints and muscles (proprioceptive sense) like they used to. In the past, it was more common for children to help with the outdoor chores. They would assist with raking leaves, shoveling the snow, and would even earn money by mowing lawns in their neighborhood. They’d also play for hours outside – moving heavy rocks to build a dam, scaling trees to new heights, and digging moats in the dirt. All of this “heavy work” helped children to develop a strong and healthy proprioceptive system.
Based on what I hear from my students, I can attest to the fact that many of them do not partake in these types of activities on a regular basis. Keeping this in mind, here are a few activities that we can ask our students to do to help them develop their proprioceptive system:
- work together to put away awkward floor mats and benches
- have a medicine ball toss, push and/or roll station set up as part of your warm up routine or (fitness) stations
- if you live in a location that gets a great deal of snow, have snowball building contests to see who can roll the largest ball
- set up/take down classroom equipment (chairs, tables, desks, etc.)
- send a tug of war rope outside during recess/lunch hours