Why Recess is Important for Child Development

by Your Therapy Source |

Whether it be free play time outdoors on playground equipment, using loose parts (ie balls, jump ropes, etc) or indoor time on rainy, cold days, students benefit from recess for the following reasons:

  • Children learn self regulation and the ability to follow rules during recess.

  • Sensory motor skills are being developed during recess time.

  • Cognitive skills, such as mathematical concepts (counting, shapes, spatial awareness) and science skills (problem solving), are reinforced on the playground.

  • Children’s behaviors in the classroom have been shown to improve if they experience at least one period of recess per day lasting a minimum of 15 minutes.

  • Physical activity affects concentration, elevates mood, enhances creativity and facilitates memory. Physical activity in children is important to control weight, reduce blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, reduce the risk of diabetes and improve psychological well being.

About The Author

This article was originally published on Your Therapy Source. Read the original article.

References: Barros, Romina M., Silver, Ellen J., Stein, Ruth E. K. School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior Pediatrics 2009 123: 431-436

National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (2001) Recess and the Importance of Play – A Position Statement on Young Children and Recess.


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