George Lucas Educational FoundationCelebrating 30 years

Play & Recess

Learn about the importance of unstructured play, the research behind it, and tips on how to make time for it—even in high school.

  • Preschooler plays with letter shapes

    Play-Based Activities That Build Reading Readiness

    Preschool teachers can use these activities to promote six early reading skills even as the kids enjoy themselves.
    Amanda Morin
    2.8k
  • Young girl playing make believe with a newspaper hat and looking through paper roll.

    The Building Blocks of Dramatic Play

    More than costumes or props, young kids need time and space to work out the basics of how to collaborate—and their bickering is a key tool in that process.
    3k
  • Building Literacy Skills With Dramatic Play

    Building Literacy Skills With Dramatic Play

    By acting out their own stories, young children develop a deeper understanding of character, setting, and language.
  • The Importance of Recess

    Recess is often sacrificed to make room for more academics. The research says that’s a big mistake.
    203.1k
  • An illustration of a little boy riding a paper airplane to the moon

    What’s Lost When We Rush Kids Through Childhood

    The author of "The Importance of Being Little" on the costs of our collective failure to see the world through the eyes of children.
    33.5k
  • Child swinging on a swing

    Time to Play: More State Laws Require Recess

    Unstructured playtime is making a comeback in schools as frustrated teachers, parents, and advocacy groups demand legislative action.
    40.7k
  • The Science Behind Brain Breaks

    The Science Behind Brain Breaks

    Research shows that breaks can provide more than rest. Use them to boost creativity, cognitive function, and social skills.
    9.9k
  • Eight young students are outside on top of a metal, geodesic dome at a playground, looking down.

    Longer Recess, Stronger Child Development

    With an hour-long recess, elementary schools can help children develop through increased creative play, authentic SEL, and adequate physical regulation.
    42.5k
  • An illustration concept of children navigating grief through play

    How Children Process Grief and Loss Through Play

    Young children will likely process the tumultuous events of 2020 in the only way they know how—through play. Here’s how adults can be supportive.
    7.5k
  • Why Skipping Recess Is a Mistake

    Why Recess Should Never Be Withheld as Punishment

    Experts argue that recess is necessary for a child's social and academic development, and skipping it as punishment for misbehavior or to accommodate more seat time is a serious mistake.
    11.3k
  • Child plays with wooden blocks on floor

    Emphasizing the Importance of Play During Distance Learning

    For young children, play is the primary vehicle for learning, and these ideas will help ensure that they continue to have rich play experiences at home.
    4.2k
  • Girls playing in mud

    At Playtime, Open Fields and Trees Beat Seesaws and Monkey Bars

    New research suggests that natural elements like mud, sticks, and trees might unlock the imaginative power of play—beating out purpose-built spaces like the neighborhood playground.
    3.9k
  • Why Inclusion Matters on the Playground

    Why Inclusion Matters on the Playground

    When general education students and students with special needs play together, it breaks down unconscious biases about disability and fosters relationships.
    4k
  • A group of young children building a house out of blocks together in a classroom

    How to Use Play for Learning

    Play-based learning helps engage elementary students in their education and has cognitive, physical, social, and emotional benefits.
    3.9k
  • A young girl playing with a wooden train set in a kindergarten classroom

    Key Aspects of Play in Early Education

    Some important considerations for integrating play in early childhood learning environments.
    2.1k

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