Originally published Oct. 10, 2019 by Action News 6, ABC, Philadelphia.
By Katherine Scott
This isn’t your typical doctor’s visit.
Doctor Recess is in at Highland Elementary in Abington.
“My program is not about structuring recess whatsoever. It’s actually just teaching kids some new games and more games than they actually know that they can choose to play,” explained Curt Hinson, Ph.D., also known as ‘Dr. Recess.’
Hinson visited the school to show children different ways they could incorporate physical activity into recess.
Principal Dr. James Etlen added, “Children right now are really into video games, so sometimes they may- they may struggle to find something to do outside.”
Hinson was a PE teacher in Delaware for 16 years. He left teaching in ’99 and started his company, PlayFit Education. He has traveled to all 50 states sharing his playground games.
“It really makes sense for schools to take advantage of their recess. For some of these kids, this actual recess time they get- this 20-30 minutes each day, is the only physical activity they’re going to get outside all day,” Hinson said.
You still see some old favorites, like kickball, but the games are modified to ensure everyone is moving and participating.
In some of the traditional playground games, Hinson noticed that the athletic children dominated and others might be left out.
“The other kids kind of get left out, and they don’t get the ball thrown to them a lot, don’t get a lot of turns to do the stuff they want to do,” Hinson told 6abc.
The ideal game keeps kids moving and doesn’t have a lot more rules.
One way to do that is to have more games going, with fewer children in each grouping.
Kids quickly picked their favorites.
For third-grader Azryl Alabi it was, “Kickball!”
Third-grader Brynn Thomas told us, “Probably drop and catch.”
Cayla Field, also in third grade, described her favorite.
“You stand on the black circle, and you throw the ball.”
“The more fit kids are, the more physically active they are, the better they perform academically, and the better they behave in school,” Hinson summed up.