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.
The Mysterious Power of Brain BreaksDuring breaks, it turns out, the brain works overtime. New research illuminates what kinds of breaks benefit learners the most.288
Making Learning More PlayfulIn this series, we showcase five schools that are taking innovative—and practical—approaches to play-based learning, and share compelling evidence that learning through play benefits students of all ages.
Using Movement to Teach VocabularyWhen students explore new words through movement, they understand them better, retain them longer, and feel more empowered to use them.6.7k
The Importance of RecessRecess is often sacrificed to make room for more academics. The research says that’s a big mistake.205k
Creating Opportunities for Unstructured PlayWhen schools make space for free play in a natural environment, students are left to their own devices to build, create, and problem-solve—and the benefits continue once they are back in the classroom.1.9k
The Joy of Pickleball in Elementary SchoolPickleball is an inclusive sport that focuses on strategy and team building and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. This makes it perfect for elementary schools!3.4k
For Young Kids, The Power of Play-Based LearningNew research shows play-based learning can be more effective than direct instruction at improving outcomes for early learners—particularly in the development of mathematical and spatial skills.11k
What’s Lost When We Rush Kids Through ChildhoodThe author of "The Importance of Being Little" on the costs of our collective failure to see the world through the eyes of children.42.7k
Time to Play: More State Laws Require RecessUnstructured playtime is making a comeback in schools as frustrated teachers, parents, and advocacy groups demand legislative action.46.3k
Longer Recess, Stronger Child DevelopmentWith an hour-long recess, elementary schools can help children develop through increased creative play, authentic SEL, and adequate physical regulation.42.5k
How a School Made Play Central to LearningAt a primary school in the UK, both students and teachers have become more engaged and curious as a result of a shift to a fully play-based approach—and learning has become more joyful for everyone.
Handing Over the Reins for a More Playful Learning ExperienceWith guidance and support from teachers, student-led learning expeditions can boost engagement, motivation, and deeper learning.
The Science Behind Brain BreaksResearch shows that breaks can provide more than rest. Use them to boost creativity, cognitive function, and social skills.10.3k
Why Recess Should Never Be Withheld as PunishmentExperts 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.11.8k
How Children Process Grief and Loss Through PlayYoung 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.8.2k