by Wendy Copley on October 17, 2011


I wasn’t a particularly sporty kid, but like everyone else I loved recess. I liked swinging across the monkey bars, hanging out on the top of the jungle gym (the old-skool kind that was made out of those slippery metal pipes) and chasing and being chased by the boys in my class. But most of all, I loved playing hopscotch.

I think a big part of the reason I loved hopscotch was because I really wasn’t very physically adept. I could never swing as far on the bars, or spin around them like my gymnast best friend. And I wasn’t nearly fast enough to actually catch one of the boys when we played chase. But my balance was pretty good and I could hop on one foot so I was a decent hopscotch player.

At home I would carefully draw hopscotch courts on our driveway with a piece of chalk. I had to be careful to make the boxes big enough to comfortably land in, but not so big that it was hard to hop over them when the pebble was resting inside. It was a tricky balancing act. At school I used the courts that were painted on the blacktop. There were several different styles — some that were just squares and rectangles, some that had boxes dissected on the diagonal and the ones with curves which were the fanciest by far.

At recess time, my friends and I would run out to the blacktop as soon as the bell rang and hunt up a pebble each to use as our markers. If you could find a bottle cap or something else distinctive that was even better because it helped avoid confusion as to whose marker was whose. Then we would take turns tossing our rocks into the different boxes, 1 through 10, hopping over and around them, then turning around and stopping to pick up the rock on the way back. Aim, balance, hopping skill — I had it all, baby. And I rocked recess on the hopscotch court!

Did you know that in the past twenty years children have lost an average of 8 hours of recess per week? I had three recesses per day and my son only has two. I’ve read about some schools where children don’t get recess at all!

Danimals Rally for Recess is a national initiative designed to create healthy competition, pitting school against school. Go to Danimals Rally for Recess for a chance to win $20,000 for your Elementary school playground. Plus each day Danimals is giving recess-related prizes to keep kids healthy and active. Share your Recess memories below and go to Rally for Recess for more information on how your school can win!

I have partnered with Dannon/Danimals to help promote the “Rally for Recess” campaign. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about the promotion and product, and hosting a giveaway where the prize has been provided by Dannon/Danimals. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Contest Rules.

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