Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Importance of Recess

recessIn Kids just wanna have fun? from No Margins, ejr tells about

“An article in The Chicago Tribune informed its reader that "[m]ost CPS schools haven't had recess in 30 years."”

I find this truly amazing and absurd! How can we do this to our children? I just hope this is not the direction that most schools are going.

I remember learning most of my early social skills during recess. We played lots of tag and jump rope. I even remember learning how to play jacks during that time. I learned how to take turns, wait patiently, and enjoy life. I learned to sharpen my fine and gross motor skills as well. I also learned about cooperation with others and being a team player. There is so much to be learned during unstructured play which happens mostly during recess.

It seems like we are taking the joy of childhood away from our children.

It is a great opportunity for teachers to observe students and reinforce teachable moments.

When these children grow up, they will be given “breaks” during their work day. It helps workers be more productive and lowers the chance of on the job accidents. So, if adults get a break, why would take this away from our children?

Everyone needs a break from whatever activity they are doing for long periods of time. It helps the muscles relax as well as the brain. Like a rubber band that is pulled too tightly, if continued to stretch, it will break. Mental and physical tension can wear our bodies out.

I wonder if that is why so many people do not know how to relax because they don’t know what to do with any free time they have. That may also be one of the factors in obesity in our children. If we want them to sit and work all of the time, when do they get physical activity outside of a physical ed class (where in many elementary schools, only happens once a week). I wonder if that is one of the factors in stress related conditions in our children.

There are so many reason why recess needs be included in our children’s day and these are some of them. What other reasons can you think of? Please share!

Image: 'Portal'

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