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Why recess is important

 Here is a list of research links and articles on recess:

Bibliography of Articles, Research and Position Papers

The following is a list of some articles, research, and position papers with links.  Titles in red are position papers.



Young Children and Recess

National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education


Recess for Elementary School Students:  A Position Paper from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education



The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds (from the American Academy of Pediatrics);119/1/182


Play:  Essential for All Children – A Position Paper of the Association for Childhood Education International


The Whole Child (from the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development)


Elementary Schools Should Provide Daily Recesses in Addition to Planned Physical Education for All Students (resolution from the American School Health Association)


Physical Education and Recess State Policy Classification System from the National Cancer Institute


The Role of Recess in Children’s Cognitive Performance and School Adjustment


The Fourth R: Recess and its link to learning


Give me that old-time recess:  Research shows that unstructured play during the school day is essential for kids’ cognitive and social development


Recess—Time Well Spent!


Bibliography from Strong Museum



Playing Ethics (scroll down to find article)


Survey Finds Young Boys Failing in Schools Across the U.S.


The Demise of Recess


Rethinking Recess:  As More Schools Trim Breaks, New Research Points to Value of Unstructured Playtime


Development Experts Say Children Suffer Due To Lack of Unstructured Fun


Creative Play Makes Better Problem Solvers


Experts Call Unstructured Play Essential to Children’s Growth


When Did Recess Become a Dirty Word? (a power point paper which cites many studies showing play enhances learning)


School Recess Improves Behavior


Recess Makes for Better Students


Making the Grade See the Spring 2009 issue.



Additional resources


Recess, Play and Learning Studies (list of research studies from the web site of Strong National Museum of Play)


The Importance of Play


Texas Study Supports Recess: A study of recess in three Texas Schools

K. L. Hutchison, “A Case Study of Classroom Change in Three Texas Schools: Third-grade Recess Policy and Practice in a Context of High Stakes Testing,” University of Texas at San Antonio (2005).



Child’s Play:  Demise of play bodes ill for healthy childhood development


The American Association of the Child’s Right to Play:


Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) Digest”, July 2002, Olga S. Jarrett


Parent Teacher Association:  See page 3 – “Child Health and Wellness”