Hustle and bustle. Run and still hustle. We live in a world that moves FAST from a steady stream of seemingly endless obligations. This mentality often runs into our kids’ lives too. With high promotion for achievement in schools and standardized testing, it seems like we’re racing the clock at all times. Recess can help break the roller coaster-like cycle, but is it really that big of a deal?
Okay. We know. You know what recess is, but it looks a little different to kids, parents, teachers, and schools alike. It means time for sports, walking, exploring, and unstructured play. Any way to reap enjoyment, kids tend to love this time of day the most. It allows us to take a breather during an eventful day of learning to grow and permits creative communication with others. No matter the play, recess is designed to encourage kids to go outside of the regular bounds of what the classroom offers whether that is on a playground or in a gym.
The Big Deal
We don’t have enough fingers to count the ways that recess can benefit your child’s development. As a pediatric therapy practice, we’d like to highlight that it promotes gross motor skill development as well as increased social skills. A domino effect lives on because improving these skills helps support other abilities such as creativity, emotional development, and cognitive development. This means that recess is a gateway for better academic achievement in the classroom.
With kids needing less screen time, less sedentary time, and more active time, recess becomes absolutely essential. It can assist in allowing kids to stay active, which counteracts rates of obesity. While it’s true that time on the playground is not a solution to bigger problems like failing grades or obesity, it does function as an irreplaceable step in nurturing healthy development.
Recess is also a teacher. Kids are taught to make time for breaks during the day, which can help form a habit to last lifelong and offers a way to cope with stress. How many of us have ever felt guilty for taking a break from work? Even though we need the breaks, the habit becomes to perpetuate a work cycle. Recess shows us that routines and breaks enhance so many areas of life. The benefits of recess will always have a number one spot on our podium.
Parents and Teachers Can Help
Even adults don’t like sitting for long hours, yet we often expect kids to. Allowing more movement throughout the day is key, especially if you feel the school does not give much time for breaks (schools allow at least 20 mins for recess). Teachers can incorporate movement intervals into lessons or transitions. Parents may allow a little extra play before homework after school as well. Every child will show that they have different ways of enjoying physical activity, but as long as they are exploring their world creatively (and without screens) it will do wonders for them as whole individuals. Long live recess!
Kids thrive when developing gross motor skills. If you notice anything of concern, reach out today.