Why Recess Is So Important For Kids
Back to school time can be just as stressful on kids as it is parents rebuilding a routine. One of the main topics your pediatric care doctor will discuss when you visit for school immunizations is the role of physical activity in a child’s daily routine. Kids have spent all summer playing in the pool, riding bikes, or being a part of a travel sports team, and now that school has restarted, it can be difficult to find the time to stay active. However, there is a way schools can play a role in encouraging fun exercise.
Do Schools Still Offer Recess?
While recess may seem easy for schools to implement – just open the doors and let the kids run free, right? – SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America reports only eight states have written policies that require recess time for students. No doubt your primary care doctor will promote physical activity in your child, but as the parent, you should also encourage your kid to take part in any recess time at school.
Recess is more than just a time to get out energy, it’s essential for social and mental development. Here’s why recess matters and how to encourage your kid to take part.
Why Recess Matters To Your Child
Consistent activity will help reduce the number of times your child must see a pediatric care doctor by keeping the body in shape and promoting strong bones, good cardio health, and an ideal weight. However, being healthy physically isn’t the only reason recess is encouraged by so many primary care physicians.
- Mental break: Recess gives the mind a break. It’s long been promoted that study breaks help the mind retain more information. The same applies with daily classroom activity. When recess is offered, students get a break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom.
- Better learning: Recess offers “optimal cognitive processing and a break from academic instruction” when implemented in between learning sessions, Anthony D Pellegrini writes in Recess: its role in education and development.
- Social engagement: Primary care doctors often express how important social engagement is for children. Recess offers a time to develop social skills and role play activity for kids.
- Stress relief: Through physical activity, children have a way to manage stress and release frustration.
- Problem solving: Recess encourages problem solving skills within children as they interact with other students, share equipment, and work on teams during games.
- Active behavior: Recess reduces sedentary behaviors that are a natural part of playing video games, completing school work, or watching TV. Your child’s primary care doctor will explain that your child should be active for at least an hour each day.
The benefits of recess are numerous. From increased physical activity to developing social skills needed in the classroom and beyond, this time period for students is essential to their well-being. Encourage your child to take part in recess breaks during the school day and speak with your pediatric care provider about other ways to decrease sedentary behavior at home.