What schools miss out on if they are not allowing recess

What schools miss out on if they are not allowing recess

What schools miss out on if they are not allowing recess

This article is sponsored by MindShift.

Play is a key component to brain development. People play to develop social and emotional skills, build sense of teamwork, and perform physical activities. Research backs up these important assessments, confirming that recess is essential to improving children’s behavior and self-regulation skills and attention spans.

As a reward, schoolchildren who have excellent outcomes in kindergarten and first grade play in groups for extra-long periods of time. Schools also allow some children to be in a napping program during the day to keep them engaged.

Time spent on recess improves children’s academic growth. Elementary school kids who play for 20 minutes a day scored higher on the Mat’s ACT test in math and science when compared to students who took the ACT only once.

What’s more, scientists believe the increased interaction kids have on recess drives intellectual development during the daytime and at nighttime.

There’s even more evidence that links recess with children’s academic growth. A research analysis published in the American Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that subjects who exercised on days when school was canceled for bad weather were more likely to receive passing grades on standardized tests.

Scientists explained to parents that children who exercised during the day were less likely to be late for school and therefore enrolled in more afterschool activities than children who had not exercised.

With all of this research behind recess, why don’t more schools have it?

Playing with peers may be one reason. Many schools cannot afford these things, especially at a time when raising taxes and slashing budgets are commonplace in many communities.

When it comes to recess, much of the attention is concentrated on the “too much” side of the debate, so the more difficult question is what is the right amount of play time. That’s where MindShift enters the debate.

The savings in energy and fuel should convince school districts to re-evaluate how much recess is required. Recess isn’t being allowed due to safety concerns, but the reality is these fears are not always justified. School systems have developed protocols that protect kids from common injuries. Schools are aware and when necessary, staff members are trained and can step in and take action if kids are injured on a field trip.

Safety isn’t a reason to break up the fun. According to Psychology Today, more than eight in 10 students attend school every day, and there’s plenty of time to get to know your kid and get to know other students. There’s also plenty of time to figure out how to balance schoolwork, friendships, and play.

The bottom line is this: If play provides a key component to overall success, why doesn’t everyone get it? Time will heal all wounds, and play will work its magic over time.

This article is sponsored by MindShift.

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