FARMINGTON -- Students at Knowlton Elementary School played games from yesteryear Thursday as part of their end-of-year field day celebration.
Gunnysack races, hula hooping, tug-of-war contests, and relay games had the students actively engaged. As second-grade teacher Betsy Borden watched her students doing as many sit-ups as they could in one minute, she commented on how much fun the experience is for the kids.
"I think it's great to have old-fashioned games for the kids, because simple is really the best," said Borden. "We don't need any high-tech (gadgets) and the kids love it."
More than 700 students enjoyed running, jumping, pulling and throwing at 13 different stations, all without the aid of computer-screen time. That is exactly what Jelene Trewet, the school's PTO field day coordinator, intended when she and her crew of volunteers set up the event.
"I love to get them out physically, where every game has something for all 30 plus kids from each class busy at each moment," said Trewet. "It's important to get away from watching TV and help get them out and physically move."
The tasks weren't always easy, according to third-grader Kade Madsen after he finished up a round of sit-ups.
"I didn't really like it, because it was hard and used all of my stomach muscles," said Madsen.
All of his hard work paid off when he had to use those same muscles at the tug-of-war station, and his team of boys beat the girls in his class.
"It was easy because we were all working together," said Madsen.
Having fun and working together were the themes of the day. Even though the students weren't physically in their classrooms, they were doing just as much learning out on the field. Fifth-grader Abigail Wright learned an important lesson about working with her team when they played beach volleyball.
Getting the over-sized, inflated ball over the net required every team member's help. And even then, the wind kept blowing their ball out of reach. Though her team didn't win, Wright said she realized another valuable lesson.
"I learned that you have to have good sportsmanship and we have to be happy that we tried our best," said Wright.
Having a healthy amount of competition is good for kids, said Trewet. The kids learn how to feel like they are a part of a team and help promote team camaraderie, she said.
After first-grader Erika Paxman finished her portion of the gunnysack race, she cheered on her teammates and even helped them get their feet into the sack. For Paxman, it was all about the fun.
"I've had a really fun time, because all day we get to come out and play," she said.
Even the adults enjoyed the playtime.
"I just love seeing the smiles on their faces in the sunshine with everyone cheering. Since most of us have small yards at home, it's fun to mark the field and get out here and have a lot of fun with an organized playtime," said Trewet.