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How Much Recess Time Should Kids Get per Day?



The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that elementary school children should have at least 20 minutes of recess per day. This time should be in addition to physical education classes.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that elementary school students should have at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, with at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. This can include recess, physical education classes, and other structured and unstructured physical activity opportunities.


Recess is an important part of a child's day as it provides an opportunity for children to be physically active, socialize with their peers, and develop important gross motor skills. Recess also helps children to recharge, refocus, and be more engaged and productive in the classroom.

It's worth noting that the amount of recess time and physical activity can vary depending on the school and state. Some schools and states may have different requirements and recommendations for recess time and physical activity.


Can purposeful movement activities during the school day help supplement a lack of recess time?


Yes, purposeful movement activities during the school day can help supplement a lack of recess time. Incorporating movement breaks or physical activity into the school day can provide students with an opportunity to be physically active, improve their focus and concentration, and be more engaged in the learning process.


Examples of purposeful movement activities that can be incorporated into the school day include:

  • Deskercise: short exercises that can be done at the students' desk, such as stretching, leg lifts, or chair squats.


  • Brain breaks: short physical activity breaks that can be done in the classroom, such as dancing, jumping jacks, or hula hooping.


  • Active learning: incorporating movement into the learning process, such as using manipulatives while teaching math or sky writing for letters, numbers and words.


  • Mindfulness exercises: like yoga or meditation, to help students focus and relax.


  • Kids Freeze Dance: You can help make learning fun by adding purposeful movement to all of the lessons you teach. Kids have natural energy and when that can be channeled into the less you are teaching, it wise to do so!


It's important to note that these activities should be age-appropriate and should not interfere with the instructional time. It's also important to consider the classroom setting and the students' needs when planning movement activities.


While movement activities can help supplement a lack of recess time, it's important that students still have opportunities for unstructured play and outdoor recess as well. Those opportunities help children to develop important social, emotional and cognitive skills.



How can a lack of recess time effect student behavior at the Elementary Level?


A lack of recess time can negatively impact student behavior at the elementary level by increasing feelings of restlessness, frustration, and boredom. Without an opportunity to engage in physical activity and socialize with their peers, students may have difficulty focusing on their studies and may display disruptive behavior in the classroom. Additionally, recess provides children with an opportunity to develop important social and emotional skills, such as cooperation, communication, and empathy, which can be difficult to develop in a solely academic setting.

Can this lack of recess time effect student engagement?


Yes, a lack of recess time can negatively impact student engagement. Recess is an important break for children, both physically and mentally, that allows them to recharge and refocus on their studies. During recess, children are able to engage in physical activity, socialize with their peers, and explore their environment. These activities can help to boost their mood, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being. Without recess, students may feel restless and disengaged, which can make it more difficult for them to focus on their studies and participate in classroom activities. In addition, recess provides students with an opportunity to develop important social and emotional skills, such as cooperation, communication, and empathy, which can have a positive impact on engagement and overall academic performance.


What is the best way to engage your students?


Just add purposeful movement! ​ Kids Freeze Dance™ is a streaming service for teachers and parents that features content themed educational videos mixed with purposeful movement! Each video features Jay on the Drums and emphasizes different content spanning Kindergarten through Third Grade while focusing on Math and Literacy concepts.


Consider using www.KidsFreezeDance.com to add movement to your daily lessons.




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