It is just as essential that the teacher who enters a schoolroom in September know how to play with children as to teach them. By no better means, perhaps, may the spirit of friendship and co-operation be so thoroughly strengthened and firmly established as through games.
The mental, moral and physical growth attained through participation in games cannot be overestimated. To listen to directions, to understand them thoroughly and to execute them exactly as given require alert attention and accurate motion.
To play fair, win honestly and accept defeat cheerfully, remembering at all times to be courteous to opponents, are invaluable lessons, and conducive to good citizenship.
Active games quicken the sense perceptions. Through them the dull, passive mind is aroused to an active interest in external things to which the hitherto inert body is forced to respond. As a result the child observes more closely, thinks more clearly and moves with greater ease.
To rhythmic games may be attributed the freedom of movement, graceful carriage and appreciation for and response to rhythm by which the child attempts to give expression to his inmost feelings.
By correlation with language, quiet games furnish a successful means for establishing correct habits of speech. Correlated with number, much valuable drill in the fundamental processes may be secured in a most delightful and informal way.
All children love to play, and, cosmopolitan as is the blend of our public schools today, in the recreation period is found an opportunity for universal expression not afforded in other activities of the day. Keenly sensitive to their surroundings, they are quick to catch the enthusiasm of their leader.
The child, timid and retiring of disposition, becomes a creature of initiative, while not infrequently the forward, self-assured child is given a much needed lesson in self-restraint. Through his skill displayed in playing games involving contest, a formerly unappreciated child compels the respect and admiration of his classmates, a tribute that may play no small part in influencing his course in after life.
It is only by getting into the game with the children and encouraging them to play naturally, permitting them to get all the joy there is in the performance hereof, that games may be made of greatest service. The effects of such play cannot fail to dispel the artificial atmosphere which for various reasons permeates many of our schools today, and to establish, in its place, wholesome and natural conditions, that will challenge the child's best efforts and render school life pleasant as well as profitable.
Graded Games for Schools and Community Recreation
The Indoor Recreation Work is given in the form of plays and games.
While the plays and games listed have been carefully arranged and graded with a view to adapting them to the schoolroom, many of them are suited to playground, hall and gymnasium use.
It is suggested that at least one game period a day be given out of doors during the pleasant weather.
Rules to Be Observed in Giving Games
1. Teacher should be familiar with the game before giving it.
2. Teach by imitation in the story-plays and rhythm, as best results come from the teacher playing with the children.
3. Be sure that the air is fresh when giving a game....