In Defense of Recess: Why We Still Need to Let Kids Outside
Photos by Heather Mortenson
Recess is carefully built into our class schedules several times a day. Our students spend their recess time on our secure, beautiful, eight acres of open playground space with clear mountain views of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Recess is a compliment to our PE and Dance classes, but we are firm believers that nothing can replace unstructured recess time. We are fortunate to have excellent playground teachers that help children navigate some of the most important life skills they will learn like negotiation, fair play, and collaboration. Our playground teachers also supervise and ensure safe play along with assisting children to develop and learn new games.
Why is Recess a Crucial Component of a Child’s School Day?
We invite you to look at a policy statement written by the American Academy of Pediatrics called “The Crucial Role of Recess in School.” Here are some of the featured benefits of recess highlighted in their statement:
- There are cognitive and academic benefits for students that have regular recess. Children gain cognitive understanding best through interactive and manipulative experiences. “This type of exploratory experience is a feature of play in an unstructured social environment.”
- “Several studies demonstrated that recess, whether performed indoors or outdoors, made children more attentive and more productive in the classroom.”
- There are social and emotional benefits to recess. Children learn to communicate, negotiate, cooperate, share, problem solve, exercise self control, preserver and more during unstructured recess time.
- Obviously there are many physical benefits to recess.