Pediatricians Say Recess is Important for School Children

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A recent study says that recess at school is as important for children as math and spelling. Playtime, said doctors, is as important as their class time for helping the youngster to perform at their best.

For most children recess is their favorite period of the day and Pediatricians say both teacher and parents should continue to encourage that. Recess, said pediatricians is a critical time for children’s development and their social interaction.

The research started in 2007 and was expected to show that recess was an important outlet physically for children. However, what researchers found was that the benefits from recess extended beyond just the physical. They said recess effects emotional, cognitive and social development much deeper than what they had expected.

Children are able to practice resolution of conflicts if they are allowed to partake in unstructured play and it allows them to return to their classroom setting ready for more learning and being less fidgety, said researchers.

The new research could give a lifeline to the shrinking role that recess has played in the school day across the U.S. Districts are trimming budgets and the hours of instructions, trying to squeeze even more academic study into school days that are the same or even fewer than before. Because of that, recess has been sacrificed in many learning institutions.

A national survey found only three states – Nebraska, Delaware and Virginia have mandatory recess of 20 minutes in elementary school and just six states follow the standards set forth by the National Association of Physical Education and Sports  that says schoolchildren need 150 minutes per week of physical education.


Article courtesy of

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