By Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer
1) Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. It also offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Pediatrics, Dec. 31, 2012.
2) Several studies demonstrate that recess, whether performed indoors or outdoors, made children more attentive and more productive in the classroom Jarrett, O. J. Education Research, 1998.
3) Recess contributes to optimal cognitive processing and a break from academic instruction when interspersed between academic blocks of instruction required by the concentrated instruction. Pellegrino AD. Recess: Its Role in Education Development 205.
Social and Emotional Benefits
4) Children gain the opportunity to practice social skills and role-play with peers at recess when at recess. National Association of Early Childhood Specialist in State Departments of Education, American Education Research Journal. The Importance of Play 2011.
5) Through play at recess, children learn valuable communication skills, including negotiation, cooperation, sharing,problem-solving, and coping skills, such as perseverance and self-control. National Association of Sport and Physical Education. Physical Activity for Children. 2004.
6) Recess also offers a child a necessary and socially structured means for managing stress by adapting and adjusting to the complex school environment. Bjorklund DF, Brown R Physical play and cognitive development: integrating activity, cognition, and education. Child Dev. 1998
7) Recess allows a student time to rest, play, imagine, think, move, and socialize. It can encourage creativity and problem-solving. Sibley B, Etnier J. The relationship between physical activity and cognition in children. Pediatrics Exercise Science. 2003.
8) The benefits of physical activity and fitness made available at recess contribute to a child’s overall health and well-being. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Recess Rules. Sept. 2011
9) Recess contributes to the recommended 60 minutes per day of physical activity for children, which helps in reducing sedentary behaviors with TV, computers, and video games. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Education and Community-Based Programs. Healthy People 2010. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 2000.
10) The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that “recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons.”