Elementary students Tuesday in Aberdeen and several other South Dakota cities enjoyed what's become a luxury lately: outdoor recess.
The cold weather has kept students indoors for days, forcing teachers to get creative in dealing with the extra energy. In the Hub City, district policy keeps kids indoors when the temperature, including wind chill, is minus ten or colder.
At Simmons Elementary School in Aberdeen, students in kindergarten teacher Sadie Bossert’s class expect to be in the classroom every day. But they expect some breaks from it, too.
"Especially kindergarten,” Bossert said. “Their little bodies, they have so much energy; they need to get out and run. Outside recess is very important for them."
That's something the kids haven’t seen a lot of in the past week. When recess moves indoors, Bossert says students spend time coloring or playing with blocks. There's plenty of pent up energy, she says.
The school day includes three recess times. Bossert adds activities when kids are indoors.
"Throughout the day we take a lot of breaks with music and dancing and movement because they do need that movement," Bossert said.
Kids and teachers got a brief taste of fresh air Tuesday. Cold kept them indoors during morning recess, but it warmed up just enough around noon for kids to head outdoors.
With more cold in the forecast, Bossert isn't putting her indoor recess plans away just yet. Still, she's hoping she doesn't need to use them for another week straight.
"And it doesn't help that it's almost Christmas, too, so the kids are eager for break," Bossert said.
Bossert says she's been finding sing-along songs with actions on You Tube and relying on those throughout the day to help the kids release some steam.