Recess IS Important After All!
A recent article in our local paper this morning caught my attention. It talked about a recent Gallup survey of school principals regarding the value of recess. The survey is entitled The State of Play. The survey report highlights six key findings of which the first two suggest that recess has a positive impact on achievement and learning as well as benefiting child development in non-academic ways. Yet, ironically, the third key finding indicates that despite these links to achievement, many schools are continuing to cut recess to meet testing requirements. The fifth key finding – Recess is the time of day when schools face the biggest behavior management challenges – is illuminating on a number of levels. Frankly, I feel that it states that schools often approach recess as simply break time and often neglect to staff it effectively, not only for supervision purposes but for the opportunity to provide healthy activities for the students.
Now its the last key finding that I found intriguing! Schools are looking for help with recess. I suggest look no further than the camping professionals around you. Camp embraces the concepts important to healthy play and activity. Where else can you have structured play, free play, group play, individual play, active play, quiet play …. Camp has been specializing in play for decades going on centuries!!
Another way to look at this – recess at most schools is offered for 16 to 30 minutes daily. So if the impact of this brief amount of play time can be so significant, it is no wonder that the camp experience is so incredibly profound! Heck, we get 16 to 30 minutes of play in before we brush our teeth each morning!!
Play is so underrated! It is repeatedly shown to have wonderfully positive influences on our physical and mental health, our stress levels, our relationships, our intellectual abilities, and so much more. I was thrilled to see the newspaper article as well as the official report! Play is not only a whole lotta fun, its really good for us, too!