The Importance of Recess

Yet another great article about the essential role recess plays in learning.  Read it here at MSNBC — All school, no play?

Here’s a sample of what’s after the click:

. . . Kids who don’t play much also tend to struggle with self-control and learning, experts say, which can haunt them throughout their lives.

Children participate in playground games under the supervision of a coach from Playworks, a non-profit that teaches kids classic games and conflict-resolution strategies.

“Play is really a developmentally significant experience,” Vialet told LiveScience. “It helps kids become high-functioning citizens and grown-ups.”

Goodbye, playtime

Children’s free playtime has dropped over the years, replaced by structured activities and screen time, including television and computer use , studies suggest. A 2003 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that a quarter of kids under age 6 watched TV for at least two hours a day; these same kids spent 30 minutes less per day playing outside than kids who didn’t spend so much time in front of a screen.

At the same time, unstructured childhood time is vanishing. A pair of University of Maryland studies of children’s time use found that in 1981, kids ages 6 to 12 had about 57 hours of free time per week. By 2003, kids had only 48 hours in which to choose their own activities. Time spent outdoors was especially hard-hit.

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