Let's Play!

Over half of a million students across the globe are participating in Global School Play Day today, Feb. 5, 2020, and Norfolk Collegiate’s Oaks are part of the movement.

Global Play Day was created by educators as a way to add unstructured play time for students around the world. Students in pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5 celebrated the day by participating in 30 minutes rotating stations from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to play with fellow Oaks.

Stations included:

  • Indoor recreation area with jump ropes, hula hoops, balls and more
  • Board and card game area
  • Puzzles and logic games
  • Crafts
  • Toys
  • Computers
  • Silent Reading
  • Playground


Students are given the choice of several stations to visit and play at throughout the day. The number of stations increased with the grade level. For our younger students (think pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten), their teachers helped decide what stations they would attend. The older students were able to select the stations they wanted to visit, resulting in students of all ages playing together.

“I was able to match what my kids liked with the activities,” said Kindergarten Teacher Rebecca Klein, whose students rotated through three stations. “The kids really do learn through play, and days like this are so important because it teaches students social skills.”

Lower school Technology Instructor Ashley James ’94 agreed. “This format is great because it allows kids to be with kids of different ages.”

"A good time was had by all! And I mean all," exclaimed Head of Lower School Cleteus Smith about the Global School Play Day. "Today was another reason why Norfolk Collegiate truly is the best school. It was a great example of purposeful play in abundance, kindness, children smiling, learning, students happily engaged, friendship, older children helping younger children, innovation, teachers laughing, cooperation and pride of their accomplishments, to name a few.

"It is through play that friendships blossom," he continued. "Students learn how to cooperate and collaborate. Play is how children experiment, take risks and learn about their world--and most importantly about themselves."


Messiah Bolden ’28 was most looking forward to reading, though “my favorite thing was building a kite in art,” she said. “We’re going to fly it at recess.” Messiah and her classmates were busy constructing the “longest chain in history” while at one of the toy stations.

Kindergartners Elliott File and Cameron Booth ’32 were having a ball and were looking forward to computers and art, respectively.


Play doesn’t have to end at 2 p.m. Parents can keep the fun going at home by encouraging your children to play. It can be as simple as playing a board game with the family tonight, playing with a friend in the backyard or taking on the local obstacle park.

Encourage your child to get crafty and make something out of the recyclables you have laying around. The important thing it that you’re spending time together with unstructured fun.

Click here to learn more about Global School Play Day.