Why Kids Need Recess

The Importance of Recess in Schools

Compelling Question

Why do students need to have recess?

Supporting Question 1

What are the benefits to recess?

Supporting Question 2

How are students responding to multiple recess periods?


In the late 1800's researchers found that people learn better and faster when there are breaks in the curriculum rather than learning without breaks (Why Kids Need Recess). This information clearly states that all people, not just students need breaks in their everyday life to be able to be the best they can be. Students today have about a 10 minute recess half way through the day and thats it. This schedule ultimately isn't helping students at all. Students need recess in order to promote brain health in social skills, creativity, problem solving and retention (Effects of Increased and Decreased Play). Recess has almost become extinct in schools because schools feel as if the content areas are much more important and they can't waste time at recess when they could be learning something for the test. After multiple research studies, it has been found that getting rid of recess or not having much of it at all is hurting the students test scores, and their overall life.
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The reason why this is an issue for young students in elementary school is because it is their recess that is being taken away and taking a toll on their learning. Since students are having their recess and free time taken from them, other things are occurring as a result from that. For example, students are losing focus in the classroom which effects their grades and performance in school. Along with their performance decreasing, they also aren't getting their social and emotional needs met because they don't have the time to talk with classmates, get their stress out and interact with children from other cultures. Since students aren't getting the breaks they need, they are becoming more fidgety and distracted in the classroom throughout the day.

What I learned

  • KIDS NEED RECESS- students need around 15 minutes of recess every hour (Dr. Rhea)
  • Students need recess because it meets their social and emotional needs, promotes brain development, and increases physical activity (Major Education Issues: Do kids really need recess?)
  • The benefits to recess are, students are more focused, reduces stress,develops social skills, healthy lifestyles outside of the classroom (Why Kids Need Recess)
  • 40% of U.S schools so not provide children with recess (Major Education Issues: Do Kids Really Need Recess?)


  • GoNoodle for breaks in between content areas. If you don't have the ability to go outside in-between content areas its important to still get them active and moving for a little bit and GoNoodle gives you that opportunity.
  • Talk to administration about staying outside an extra 5 minutes. If you get the administrations approval they are more apt to require it and suggest it to other teachers.
  • Have the gym or an Indoor area available. Even if the weather is bad that doesn't mean recess is forgotten. You can have extra plans for your students to still be active even if its raining outside.
  • If students are misbehaving have the students do a thinking lap. Some teachers punish students by taking recess away, but in order to end punishing students like that a simple thinking lap still lets them be active and outside and also lets them think about what they did so they won't do the same thing again.
  • As parents you can join together and network. Parents can go to the PTA and explain the importance of recess to get more recess for their children throughout the day.
Kids need recess | Simon Link | TEDxAmanaAcademy




Interview with Dr. Rhea

Major Education Issues: Do Kids Really Need Recess? - EduGuide. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://www.eduguide.org/article/major-education-issues-do-kids-really-need-recess

Why Kids Need Recess. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://icpa4kids.org/Wellness-Articles/why-kids-need-recess.html