Should Elementary Students Be Allowed Time For Recess?

Should Elementary Students Be Allowed Time For Recess?

 Recess is a break, typically lasting around 20-30 minutes, during the school day where students are given the opportunity to get outside, stretch their legs and play with their peers.

 While recess may seem like an unnecessary break in the day, research has shown that it is an important part of a child's development and overall well-being. 

 In this article, we will explore the reasons why elementary students should be allowed time for recess and the benefits it provides.

1. Physical Benefits

 One of the most obvious benefits of recess is the physical activity it provides. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

 Recess provides an opportunity for students to get some of that physical activity during the school day. Running, jumping, and playing games during recess can help children build strength, improve coordination, and increase their overall fitness level.

2. Mental Health Benefits

 Recess is also important for a child's mental health. It provides a break from the academic demands of the school day and allows children to release energy and reduce stress.

 This break from the classroom can also help students improve their focus and concentration when they return to their studies.

3. Social Development Benefits

 Recess is a time for students to interact with their peers in an unstructured setting. This allows them to develop important social skills such as cooperation, communication, and problem-solving.

 It also provides opportunities for students to make new friends and build positive relationships with their classmates.

4. Academic Benefits

 Contrary to popular belief, taking time for recess does not take away from academic learning. In fact, research has shown that recess can actually improve academic performance.

 According to a study published in Pediatrics, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, regular physical activity can improve cognitive skills and academic achievement.

5. Equity and Inclusion

 Recess is an important opportunity for all students, regardless of their background or ability level. It provides an equal opportunity for all students to participate in physical activity and socialize with their peers.

 It also provides an opportunity for students with disabilities to engage in physical activity and interact with their classmates in a non-academic setting.


In conclusion, recess is an important part of a child's development and overall well-being. It provides physical, mental, social, and academic benefits, and promotes equity and inclusion in the school community.

 Therefore, it is important that elementary students be allowed time for recess during the school day. Schools should prioritize recess as an essential part of the curriculum and ensure that students have access to safe and engaging play spaces.

 By prioritizing recess, we can help our children thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.


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