The Educational Value of Recess

  1. Updates


Organizations are working with city schools to make the most of playtime, which experts say leads to benefits in the classroom.

The School District of Philadelphia doesn’t track which schools provide recess–it is recommended but not mandated as part of the elementary school schedule–and could not provide any information about the state of schoolyards.

This could be shortsighted, experts say.

“We know that without play, children become ill,” said Anna Beresin, a professor at the University of the Arts, who has spent decades studying how and why kids play.

She added, “Children need recess playtime to move their bodies, strengthen their social ties, and invent their cultural world. Play is particularly important at school as it allows children to synthesize what they learn in their own way.”

Read more about this article.

More Updates

January 10, 2023

Understanding the Complex Simplicities of Play ›

Play is a behavior that is natural and has existed for thousands of years and across species. It combines a set of made-up rules or norms and a willingness to explore. Researchers, scientists, and doctors have studied the effects of play on kids–and adults–and understand that this natural behavior has tremendous benefits. As the American…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical question: what are the intersections between play, social and emotional learning, physical activity, and trauma? A working group focused on this question decided, among other…

August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts, have demonstrated precisely how and why play works to help kids learn and grow in the most positive and healthy ways. Jill gathered stories from people…