The Office of Student Health and Wellness requires all elementary and middle schools have to provide students with at least 20 minutes of supervised, weather-appropriate daily recess. Recess gives students the opportunity to be physically active and practice social skills. Similar to recess, Pre-K classrooms need to offer at least 30 minutes per day of free play, either indoors or outdoors.
What are the Benefits of Recess?
A recent report from the National Association of Sport and Physical Education has shown that organized, purposeful recess can have the following beneficial effects on students:
Physical: Recess increases students’ physical activity time, which leads to improved health and physical fitness and helps prevent childhood obesity.
Social: Recess allows children to learn and practice important social skills like sharing, communicating, cooperating, problem solving, conflict resolution and respecting rules and order.
Emotional: Playing at recess reduces anxiety and aids in stress management. It also builds self-esteem and promotes relaxation between classes.
Cognitive: Physical activity enhances cognitive development. Recess provides children with a necessary break from the classroom experience so they can concentrate in class. The Office of Student Health and Wellness provides schools with Recess Weather Guidelines to help decide if recess will be held outdoors or indoors. You can help prepare your child for a fun and safe recess by making sure they are dressed appropriately for the day’s weather (sunscreen is recommended for outdoor recess).