Unstructured, Outdoor Play Breaks

Recess: The Forgotten Classroom

  • The CDC defines recess as “regularly scheduled periods within the elementary school day for unstructured physical activity and play.”
  • There has been a downward trend in time dedicated towards recess due to a belief that more time in the classroom results in better academic performance.
  • Other countries have demonstrated that academic achievement does not suffer – but improves – when including time for recess and physical education.

Benefits of Recess

  • Increased attentional focus
  • Improved academics
  • Improved attendance
  • Decreased behavioral diagnoses (anxiety, ADHD, anger)
  • Improved creativity and social skill development

LiiNK Action Steps

  • Four 15-minute outdoor, unstructured breaks throughout the day – two before lunch & two after lunch