Little girl at top of slide before going down

The Power of Play: Why Recess is Beneficial

Students of all ages look forward to a break from academics during the school day. For elementary and middle schoolers, recess on a playground can serve as more than a pause from the classroom. This free play time helps children to be active while also socializing. Playgrounds serve as environments that help prepare kids for bright, successful futures. Recess can also be a time where students begin to develop and apply essential life skills.

Physical Benefits:

Recess can be an essential part of children’s fitness. Engaging in play during recess increases physical activity and offers a host of benefits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It:

  • Improves their memory, attention, and concentration
  • Helps them stay on-task in the classroom
  • Reduces disruptive behavior in the classroom
  • Improves their social and emotional development (e.g., learning how to share and negotiate)

This is especially important when one in five children are considered obese. Healthy habits often begin during childhood, and schools play a considerable role in laying this foundation. Recess is a necessary and important part of the process.

Social Benefits:

Recess offers children the opportunity to build critical social skills and interact with their peers outside of the classroom. This less structured interaction lets children form connections while simultaneously learning how to communicate independently. Free play allows for interactions that teach kids how to communicate, negotiate, empathize, and problem solve, all valuable skills that can be used in personal and professional relationships throughout their lives.

Cognitive and Behavioral Benefits:

Recess offers children a breather from academics during the school day, often leaving them ready to return to the classroom more focused and engaged. Breaks allow for more effective learning for young minds that need rest to achieve their full potential. Research indicates that movement and active play stimulate blood circulation, delivering more oxygen and glucose to the brain, which improves memory, attention, and concentration.

Recess also acts as an outlet for children to get their energy out, which has been shown to help improve behavior in the classroom. When children are in the classroom for the entire day, they may become restless and agitated, making it difficult for them to learn and potentially disruptive to their classmates. Recess can help alleviate this issue, contributing to a positive learning environment where everyone can succeed.

Little Tikes Commercial exists to empower kids to flourish by inspiring wonder and developing life skills through imaginative play. It is imperative that today’s students have access to recess as it is a critical part of overall growth and development, with benefits for both students and school staff. You can trust that our play equipment will be a source of joy and imagination for years to come.

ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) U.S. government funding can be utilized to enhance student wellness and learning environments, including the purchase of playground equipment. Use your remaining ARP (American Rescue Plan) ESSER Funds on a new playground and bring the magic and importance of play and recess to your school and community.

Find a Little Tikes Commercial representative near you, to begin today.