West Hempstead children at Chestnut Street School benefit from unstructured play


The West Hempstead Union Free School District’s Chestnut Street School enjoyed a day of unstructured play during Global School Play Day on Feb. 6.

Global School Play Day was constructed in 2015 to raise awareness about the necessity of unstructured playtime for young students. In a TEDx Talk from 2014, Dr. Peter Gray explained the many negative impacts that lack of playing has on youth. This conversation led to the concept that children need to play more freely without adult intervention, structure or organization.

Principal Faith Tripp encouraged classes to spend an hour playing as part of the worldwide initiative that has grown from 65,000 participating students in 2015 to the hope of 500,000 for this year. Classrooms were filled with students playing with various board games, dolls, action figures and other toys brought from home that helped create an environment of unstructured play and steered away from technology.

“We were thrilled to be part of this global event that helped to promote the use of traditional playing methods,” Tripp said in a news release.

Compiled by Nakeem Grant