PHE Canada describes recess as “a time for children to exercise their right to rest, leisure, and play”. Not only do children at school get an opportunity engage in these necessary activities for development, it is also an opportunity for them to participate in a portion of their daily recommended physical activity, often outside, and social connection with peers. Recess can be left unstructured but there are also many programs and activities that can be implemented to get the most out of the time .
Research shows that recess can also have a positive impact on students’ mental health and academic achievement as well, specifically correlating with increases in social skills, peer relationships, conflict resolution, and even more broadly, school climate. Participating in recess has also shown to be correlated with more “time on task”, focused attention, and self-regulation, all which have direct connections with academic achievement. Finally, may also benefit from recess time as it is a time they too get a break from teaching and can enjoy the benefits the students see (ie. Sustained attention, time on task) in the classroom.
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