George Lucas Educational Foundation

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.

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  • 3 Simple Steps to Nurture Learning During Play

    Interacting with preschoolers as they engage in play can help support skill development that will sustain them throughout their educational journey.
    Michele Coulombe, Amy Fatall
    377
  • For Young Kids, The Power of Play-Based Learning

    New 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.
    9.2k
  • The Importance of Recess

    Recess is often sacrificed to make room for more academics. The research says that’s a big mistake.
    204.9k
  • 9 Brain Breaks for Elementary Students

    To boost creativity and productivity, take time out for movement, calming exercises, and a healthy dose of fun.
  • A Hop, Skip, and a Jump

    The possibilities for creating a sensory path to give students a movement break are endless. Here’s what schools across the country are doing.
  • After Social Isolation, Preparing Our Youngest Students to Thrive

    How early-grade teachers tackled a chaotic year and helped the youngest learners acclimate to life in (actual) school. It’s work that's likely to continue this school year.
    1.7k
  • 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.
    41k
  • 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.
    45.8k
  • Digital Resources for Play-Based Learning in Preschool

    Digital media has the potential to be hands-on and playful. These online platforms encourage young students to engage in open-ended exploration.
    308
  • 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.
    41.7k
  • The Science Behind Brain Breaks

    Research shows that breaks can provide more than rest. Use them to boost creativity, cognitive function, and social skills.
    10.2k
  • 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.
    11.7k
  • 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.
    8k
  • More Than a Dozen Ways to Build Movement Into Learning

    Physical activity that amplifies learning can have a powerful effect on retention and engagement—it’s also fun.
    3.2k
  • 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.
    3.3k

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George Lucas Educational Foundation