Research, Reminders, and Recess!
While we all know that children need time to play both socially, as well as physically, we also have the confines of the school day to think about. When will we teach this, and how will that fit in… and so on and so forth… Research is everywhere promoting recess as a beneficial element to the school day, so let’s take a look at what we can do to get the most out of it.
In Daniel Pink’s book title WHEN: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Daniel illustrates several works of research that confirm the benefits of recess. That leads us to remind ourselves that it’s good for kids, their brains, and their academic success and there are some fundamental do’s and dont’s to recesses when dealing with children. So here they are.
One, the reality is that recess provides a huge benefit for kids. It stimulates their mind, their social interactions, and their problem-solving skills.
Two, we all need breaks. It’s scientifically proven that breaks actually increase our production, happiness, and attentiveness, so why wouldn’t we do it?
Three, Kids work harder and focus more when they are given breaks. This allows them to reset, reconnect, and redistribute their energy. All in all, recess supports the learning process for our children. It allows them to learn from one another in a social context, and when outside, recess allows them to draw on the calming effects of nature.
In conclusion, when planning your recesses, remember that research shows that a little just won’t do it. Ensure they are getting ample time to play and engage, raise their heart rates, and to learn from one another. Also, remember that free-play allows those interactions much more than structured play does. Lastly, remember than every student, especially those who are struggling to complete work, who are fidgety, or those who struggle with social interactions, need recess just as much, if not more, than those who don’t.