Recess Without Tag? It's like Peanut Butter without Jelly...

Sorry kids, no playing tag on the playground!'re injured.


Apparently tag has gotten 'too rough' at some schools around here.  One school has decided to ban tag from the playground due to too many injuries.

Why....people...why???  Not tag!  Not the great American Schoolyard game!

Look, I get that injuries happen - that games get out of hand - but that's part of being a kid.  What game goes smoothly from start to finish without somebody's feelings getting hurt, someone getting poked, pushed, tattled on for unfair practices or someone getting a scrape or bump? It's the playground - the root word is play...what will it be called if there is no tag, dodgeball, kickball or cartwheels? Will it be called the Sitground? The Safeground? The Quietground? What about the Cyberground - where each child gets an iPad on the way out to recess and find a quiet spot to indulge in some simulated playground activity or maybe a cartoon on Netflix! No, please don't let that happen.  Surviving childhood is all part of growing up!    How are kids going to get their exercise with their daily break on the playground if they can't do 1/2 the things the playground was built for?  When I was growing up, if someone acted like a turd during recess, they had to sit IN the classroom for recess the next day and do work.  That sucked - so usually the kid learned that lesson and STOPPED being a turd.  Why can't things be that simple anymore?  It's sad.  Really, it is sad.

I know there are serious incidents that caused these decisions but I am not going to try and tackle that side of this  issue. I am sure there will be others who will do a thoughtful, researched write up on this topic but I just want to keep it fun. I'll just illustrate a few things with a little light humor so if you are game - read on.  I am going to use the hilarious meme called 'Annoying Childhood Friend' to help me with the illustrations.  After all - ACF was someone we all knew well when we were in school.  I'm sure you can think of a few of those guys when you recall recess back in your day.

We all know recess is tricky.  Sometimes, just walking on the playground could result in injury.

Shoe untied?
You could trip and fall and get a scrape.

Forget that walking is just left-right-left - fall over a chip a tooth.

Not watching where you are going?
Run into other child and bump heads.  (I got this idea from the nurse's office the other day when two girls were icing their foreheads and giggling about running into each other).

Decide to try out skipping?
You could do it wrong and pull a calf muscle.

It happens.  Injuries while walking on the playground are no joke.

What else can happen on the playground?  I'll look back at my childhood and tell you.

I've fallen off the bars while using poor form on a pennydrop.

Result?  Slight muscle sprain in neck.
Treatment?  Nurses office with ice pack for 20 minutes - then promptly sent back to class.
Long term effects?  Stayed away from pennydrops for life.  Did front flips instead.

Took a fist to the throat in heated game of  Red Rover.

Result?  I did NOT successfully come over.
Treatment?  Went and played with someone else.
Long term effects?  None.

Getting clotheslined and having the wind knocked out of you? Just two of the many reasons that Red Rover is banned from most schools.

Fell over and nearly sprained ankle from trying to hop on one foot while playing Hopscotch.

Result?  Had to go to end of line.
Treatment?  None.
Long term effects?  Limped for 20 minutes for dramatic effect - then forgot about injury and went
back to walking normally.

Caught ball with side of face during my turn in Kickball.

Result?  Loss of game to other team, minor red rash in shape of ball print on side of face as well as bruised ego.
Treatment?  The silent one from team members for losing the game for the team -duration approximately one hour.
Long term effects?  Strong dislike for round objects flying toward me.  General avoidance of Dodgeball.

I still recall the actual rubber smell of that damn dodgeball.

Bruised knee while sliding into home during a game of Softball.

Result?  Minor dirt stains on jeans, slight purple discoloration on knee where bruise formed
Treatment?  Spray and Wash.
Long term effects? None.

Pulled muscle in ribcage area from Cartwheel-gone-wrong.

Result?  No cartwheels for two days.
Treatment?  Laughter reliving the moment.
Long term effects?  Funny memories of recess on the school playground.

Walked in front of someone who was swinging and got a shoe in the face.

Result?  Minor stinging to jaw.
Treatment?  Rubbed jaw with hand for two minutes and then brushed it off.
Long term effects?  Paying attention while walking and being sure not to walk in front of swing during future recesses.

During Duck Duck Goose, was chosen as "Goose" with force to the head causing slight case of whiplash.

Result?  Ran even faster to catch the kid who pummeled me.
Treatment?  An extra long drink at the drinking fountain.
Long term effects?  None.

Poked eye during friendly game of Simon Says

Result - couldn't see 'Simon' giving cues because eyes were watering and lost round due to temporary vision loss.
Treatment - rubbed eyes with shirt sleeve.
Long term effects - none.

Bonk to my melon head during intense game of Tetherball to myself.
Result - Acknowledgement that I am a hazard to myself even while playing individual recess games.
Treatment - Little Debbie Snack Cakes afterschool.
Long time effects - None, I can never resist smashing that Tetherball when I see one - but alas, they are nearly extinct on the playgrounds of America.
Dangers of Tetherball: Rope burns on arms,  smashing face with rogue ball, getting hit from behind, etc.

That's all for now dear readers.  I've had enough nostalgia for one day.  Seriously - haven't we all had similar playground trauma in our lives and we lived to tell about it?

What's your story - leave me a comment - I'd love to hear it.
Reckless Recess Survivor


  1. No! Really?!? What is this world coming to?!?!?

    1. This report came from a city here in NH - however, I have read several other news reports this week of banning cartwheels in NY and other games. Crazy.

  2. You have no idea how much I needed this laugh today! So funny! I remember falling off those bars many times and I just got right back on those. And the word penny drop? I haven't heard that in years! Loved it! Julia

    1. Funny thing about those bars - - I could always picture myself in my head doing these amazing stunts but the execution of those stunts never quite worked!!! Glad you got a laugh!

  3. Oh, boy, this brought back a lot of memories. What is it with those red rubber balls we played with in gym and on the PLAYground, anyway? Remember that "ting" noise they made when you kicked them?

    My injuries were usually more of the hurt feelings/embarrassment variety. I stunk at most playground sports in general, but the one thing I was reasonably good at was kickball. The kicking part, at any rate (I still suck at throwing anything). So the day I was up and kicked the ball and my school shoe went soaring into the infield was not a good one. I had forgotten my sneakers that day so I was wearing my every day, heavy leather lace up clodhoppers that my dear mother insisted were the only appropriate footwear for school. Very traumatic.

    I kind of liked dodgeball, once again the "dodge" part, not the throwing. I could evade pretty well. Which was a good thing because I still remember getting slammed in the head when I wasn't quick enough. No, they weren't supposed to aim at heads but you know kids... our nasty gym teachers didn't care much, either.

    Sigh. I have many happy memories from the playground, too. Seemed like we spent a LOT of time out there, way more than my kids ever did. Their school days are so busy... there just isn't the freedom and space for creative games and thoughts.

    1. FLYING SHOES IN KICKBALL!!! I totally forgot to mention that risky business in my blog - - I bet lots of people recall getting whacked with a flying shoe! lol
      You make me laugh! thanks for the comment! xo

  4. Oh girl, you got me with the shoe to the face by the swings. If we don't let them play, we might as well put them to work. I vote for play. Love this almost as much as I love you. xo

    1. Who hasn't gotten clocked in the head by someone swinging? That's what happens when you walk IN FRONT of someone on the swings! Live. And. Learn.
      Love you girl! xo

  5. Thanks for the laugh DG as always your right on the mark !:) Its called a Playground, It's used during Recess, What's not to understand . Its there so you can run around and let off steam before being returned to your desk where you need to sit and be quiet and pay attention to the teacher. As far as I can see there is no alternative to it.Its where we learned to live past all our scrapes and bruises .To boast about them and wear them as badges of accomplishment. I still have the scar from my stitches and when I got them they were good for several hours of conversation with my playground friends:)

    1. Ouch! Scar from stitches! Did you fall from a cherry bump on the Teeter totter or something? ;) xoxo They are badges - you are right on with that.

  6. I was telling my kids the other day about the time in second grade I got hit in the jaw with a seesaw. "What's a seesaw, Mom?" they asked as if I was talking about a Yeti. I fell for the big kid/little kid ruse. The big kid called me over to the seesaw and then hit it so that it came up under my chin. Ouch! 10 stitches later I learned to keep away from that asshole, but my parents didn't sue anyone.

    1. A yeti...lmao! I seem to recall taking a seesaw to the chin and biting my tongue till it bled. Good times for sure! lol!

    2. Holy, cr*p, that is HORRIBLE!!! I can't believe that kid caused such a severe injury to you - what happened when you were standing there with half your face hanging down, gushing blood?? Ye gads, if that happened today I bet your parents WOULD sue within an inch of that brat's life and I wouldn't blame them! There is nothing funny about ten stitches.

      My worst teeter-totter trauma was a heavier kid bailing off the other end, causing me to slam down onto the ground from 8' up. It's a wonder our tailbones didn't break. I learned to keep my legs well under me after that unpleasant experience...


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