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AAP: All Work and No Play Bad for Kids

AAP: All Work and No Play Bad for Kids
Recess during school offers children cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits they don't get through academics alone, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote in a policy statement. The policy statement emphasized that recess is "a necessary break in the day" and that it "should be considered a child's personal time, and it should not be withheld for academic or punitive reasons," according to Robert Murray, MD, of Ohio State University School of Medicine in Columbus, and Catherine Ramstetter, PhD, of the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues. The policy authors noted that recess allows a space between classes outside of concentrated classroom work, which aids cognitive processing and academic performance. The frequency and length of these breaks should be "sufficient to allow the student to mentally decompress," they wrote online in Pediatrics. These cognitive benefits also come in the form of diminished stress and exploration of an unstructured social environment, which "promotes social and emotional learning and development for children by offering them a time to engage in peer interactions in which they practice and role play essential social skills," they added. Children's play during recess offers benefits that are "unique from, and a complement to, physical education -- not a substitute for it." Physical education classes "is an academic discipline," while recess periods allow a child creative, social, and emotional outlets for physical activity. Re…
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