Illinois State University

No play in kindergarten? No way

No play in kindergarten? No way

When my daughter started half-day kindergarten in the fall, I was convinced she was going to love it. Gracie is a curious, talkative and playful 5-year-old, and I couldn't wait for her to come home with stories about all the fun she was having and friends she was making each day in the classroom.

A few days into the school year, however, Gracie already was stalling every morning before we left to make it to school before the bell.

"There aren't any toys in the classroom," she complained, a detail I somehow missed when marveling at the cute bulletin boards, buckets of pencils and other classic school supplies ready to go during kindergarten orientation at her public...