Free play is an important part of a physical education program. There are many
benefits for the children. They have more of a chance to interact in a less structured
environment. They experience a chance to let their imaginations and creativity run wild. This I think is where they pick up many of their social skills and whether good or bad that social pecking order starts to come into play.
I believe that free play should be monitored and gently guided. A teacher can suggest ideas that spawn student creativity. I fear that video games and some other technologies have stifled imagination in many students. There are also times when a teacher must step in to guide inappropriate behavior or play that becomes overly aggressive and possibly become harmful.
Free play is important, but I believe there should also be a mix of organized activity with different games and drills. The reason I make this statement is because in free play there will be those students that are not that engaged in physical movement. Organized activity gets them moving. Health experts agree that we should have at least 30 minutes of active movement each day and one hour is better.
Free play is good. Organized activity is good. Seek the best of both worlds.