One great game the kids love to play in the morning before school starts is one I have seen another Y staff play with their kids at another school. It is called Mushroom Ball, which involves a small foam ball being thrown at each other. Naturally, the older kids lacking self control will inevitably throw too hard, resulting in a few tears every now and then.
A 1st grader fell to the gym floor after trying his best to dodge the flying foam. Crying because he did not avoid the ball in time, I ran over to him and knelt down.
"What happened?" I asked gently. He attempted to speak through his moans and tears, but only spat out gibberish. "Well, it doesn't look like you have any broken bones," I said reassuringly.
"No, but he does have a broken spirit!" said one kindergartner nearby. At that moment the PE teacher walked by and overheard this kid's comment. We both looked at each other and cracked up.
A broken spirit. How creative that this kid would think of something like that to describe a wound that we cannot see or touch. A pain that is within our hearts that hurts just as much as anything we can think of.
Unfortunately, I couldn't do much to heal this kid's broken spirit. But thankfully I know Somebody who can.