Forty-five Minutes

Recess time

Forty-five minutes. That is the amount of time our grammar school students for recess each school day. Forty-five minutes of unscheduled recreation. Some might say that this is a waste of valuable instructional time but we disagree. We believe that play is an important part of learning. Those 45 minutes are an investment in intellectual development for years to come.

Physical EducationGod created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
Genesis 2:27

When we play, we are doing far more than passing time. Playing is re-creating. We re-create with rocks and twigs and blades of grass as we imagine ourselves in a faraway land fighting “bad guys.” We get lost in a story we’re making up as we go. We lose track of time, forget where we are and suddenly… it’s time to go in and get back to work. Re-creating is in our DNA. We bear His creative likeness even when we play.

We imagine because we bear God’s image. When children build, design, construct, climb, explore and imagine they are living out what it means to be an image bearer. This is what sets us apart from the rest of creation. He has made us to reflect Him with our playful minds, souls and bodies. We play because we are His and He delights in us.

Let God’s people be glad in their Maker…
Let them praise His name with dancing,
making melody to Him with instruments!
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
He adorns the humble with salvation.
Psalm 149:2-4 (paraphrased)

Play isn’t the only way that God delights in us. God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule…” (Genesis 1:26). When we invent, implement, administer, train, serve, direct, provide, beautify, develop and improve the world in which we live we are fulfilling another aspect of our identity as image bearers: we are ruling over creation. Whether we are working or playing, we are fulfilling our God-given purpose. Research confirms that children who play more are more productive in school. So, 45 minutes of recess really is an investment.