ORLANDO, Fla. – Recess, for many of us, was our favorite part of the school day. Today, the average recess is 27 minutes, if kids get a recess at all.
Georgia is the latest state to sign a law that makes recess a requirement in public elementary schools. It joins five other states who already require scheduled playtime during school hours.
Seven other states require some sort of physical activity at the elementary school level. Experts say this trend will not only help a child’s physical wellbeing, but their mental health as well.
Basketball, jump rope, soccer. What do you remember most about recess?
Studies show recess can contribute up to 70% of a child’s weekday physical activity. But in recent years our kids’ free time has been getting cut short.
“Kids are not being kids in the classroom. All we are expecting from them is to be a robot, to sit, copy, do what I’m asking you to do, and work all day long,” Coralis Moreno, a first grade teacher said.
Moreno sees firsthand how recess is necessary for our kids’ education.
“We have been putting more pressure in our kids after, I would say after covid happened since we are like so far behind,” she said.
A study out of Harvard shows children need at least 60 minutes of exercise a day to help maintain a healthy body weight, strengthen bones, and manage healthy blood sugar levels. Exercise not only helps physically, but it can benefit a child’s mental health as well.
The CDC says that physical activity in kids improves their ability to memorize, increases their attention span, and lowers the risk of depression.
So what about at home? What can you do when your kids are not in school? Good ways to promote physical activity in your kids is to emphasize fun. When a kid finds something fun, they tend to stick with it longer.
Also, plan to make sure your kids have a place and time outside of school to play and make sure to limit their screen time.