Think Play Is Only for Little Kids?

happy teens

If so, you’ll definitely want to listen to my discussion with Denise Pope and Sandra Russ, in which they explain the role of play in the lives of tweens and teens! As Denise says, “Research shows that kids of all ages need daily play time, down time, and family time.”

And, no, they’re not talking about organized sports or playing video or computer games.

Here are her suggestions:

– Parents should avoid overscheduling their teen with too many extracurricular activities and too many AP or honors courses. Use the Challenge Success time management tool to help plan a healthy schedule with adequate time for play and sleep.

– Educators should incorporate appropriate play time during the day for middle and high school students, including: ample time to play games, sports, and chat with friends during lunch and break periods; scheduling spirit week or other joyful traditions before or after midterms, standardized test periods, or other stressful times; allowing for more student voice and choice for projects and essays; hosting makerfaires, makerspaces, and other project-based lessons that allows for student-centered and creative learning.

For more information, tips, and research, visit, or check out Denise’s new book, Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids.

You might also read “How to Bring Playfulness to High School Students”:

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