When I first heard about how common it has become for some schools to withhold recess from kids as a disciplinary tool, my heart was heavy. Play is a very important part of childhood. I'm not even sure I realized how important until I heard this man, who makes his living studying play, talk about it. Our kids are spending more time in classrooms and less time on the playground. They're spending more time in front of the TV and less time playing outside. And while we all talk about how these things can affect their physical health and how inactivity can lead to issues such as Type 2 diabetes, we're failing to recognize how we're affecting our kids' mental health, too.