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Recess Benefits Kids Emotionally, Socially, and Physically

2 minute read

We’ve known since the invention of recess that kids love it.

Swinging as high as they can. Tearing around playing tag. And, most importantly, not sitting at a desk.

So, yes, they love it. But more and more research also shows that kids need recess. From building social skills to instilling positive exercise habits, recess exposes kids to crucial parts of development.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that recess “serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom.”

So, what exactly are those benefits that make the “necessary break” of recess such an important part of childhood development?

Social Benefits:

● Socialization free from structure
● The chance for new modes of communication with friends and classmates
● Allows for play time without electronic distractions

Emotional Benefits:

● Reduces stress
● Exposure to outdoor light offers several positives for health and wellness
● Provides a much needed break from workload and expectations
● Gives children control of the world around them

Intellectual Benefits:

Increased mental focus after physical exercise
● Gives children a break from incoming information
● Allows processing time

Physical Benefits:

● Burns calories and stretches muscles
● Practices emerging physical skills and can help kids find the sports/games they’ll play for life
● Provides exposure to fresh air. And speaking of fresh air, if you have concerns about the Indoor Air Quality in your child’s school, take a look at some of our recommendations for improving IAQ in schools.

And just like schooling doesn’t stop once kids go home, all the benefits of recess can extend to family time as well. Try one or all of these family spring activities to keep your kids healthy and active as the weather warms up.


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