Recess is every child’s favorite part of the school day– they get to be outside, run, play and enjoy time with friends. It’s also a great way for them to develop physical and social skills. But, did you know that what recess looks like can vary greatly from place to place? Photographer James Mollison traveled around the world to capture children in their natural state of play. All children may play– but their playgrounds are all different. Here’s what recess looks like for children around the world.
1. Thimphu, Bhutan — Dechen Phodrang
Young boys dressed in monk garb peruse the grounds in their mountainous homeland. They play and walk and seem to be at peace.
2. Brookline, Massachusetts — St. Mary of the Assumption Elementary School
Boys and girls in school uniforms play behind the massive brick school that looms behind them. Their carefree innocence is felt through the photo.
3. Freetown, Sierra Leone — Kroo Bay Primary
Children play near a river, garbage and slums. They play games on top of dirt and piles of garbage, unaware of the mess that lies beneath.
4. Kårvåg, Averøy, Norway — Utheim Skole
Children play freely in the outdoor, climbing trees, going down slides, playing in teepees, and jumping off rocks. They are left alone to enjoy nature.
5. Bethlehem, West Bank — Aida Boys School
Boys in matching shirts talk and play games in a concrete school yard filled with surrounding steps.
6. Hull, United Kingdom — Hull Trinity House School
Young boys in uniforms enjoy a break between two buildings to play and laugh for awhile.
7. Tel Aviv, Israel — Holtz High School
Young Israelis enjoy a break on their campus, seated at tables or walking about. Notice the helicopter in the background?
8. Tokyo, Japan — Shohei Elementary School
Children play mostly on their own on a large grass-less field, riding unicycles, running, jumping or playing games.
9. Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya — Valley View School
Children crowd outside in uniforms to enjoy the fresh air and talk and play with friends.
10. Inglewood, California — Inglewood High School
Teenagers stroll about and talk on their lunch break, cheerleaders practice in the foreground while other students move and walk on their own.