Active and healthy play helps students develop self-control, build social skills, and get the “brain break” needed for academic success. A report from the Institute of Medicine found that children who are more active “show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.”
Schools with a healthy culture of play see fewer fights, fewer injuries, and fewer trips to the principal’s office—and students come back to class ready to learn.
Playworks works with elementary schools across the country to make their recesses safe, fun, and active. With 20 years of experience working with elementary schools, Playworks has opened up its playbook and launched Recess Lab—a project to help principals, teachers, and kids re-discover the power of play.
Recess Lab offers free tools like the Recess Checkup—a three-minute online quiz designed to help principals and teachers identify strengths and uncover areas for improvement, and understand what’s really happening in a play space. The Checkup is open to principals and teachers at eligible public schools around the country.
School staff can also visit recesslab.org to discover playground solutions that are right for their school. They will find proven tips, games, and ideas for important school pain points such as:
- Focusing attention
- Building teamwork
- Improving transitions
- Teaching conflict-resolution skills
From test scores to school culture, from safety to inclusion, today’s elementary schools have several important priorities. But at many schools, recess is an overlooked opportunity for accomplishing these goals. Recess can be a time for children to gain the experiences that prepare them for success in and out of the classroom and the free resources at Recess Lab can pave the way.