Recess is often seen as a highlight of the school day. Recently, unstructured play breaks got an endorsement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Many schools have been forced to reduce or eliminate recess in order to spend more time working on math, reading and other academic pursuits.
The AAP recently issued a policy statement saying that recess should not be withheld from children as punishment; that it should complement - but not replace - physical education, and that it can benefit children's cognitive, academic and social development in addition to contributing to overall physical fitness.
"It's important to protect recess," said Catherine Ramstetter, who co-authored the policy statement with Robert Murray. "The fundamental goal of school is to provide academic and cognitive development, and recess is part of that."
Educating the whole child, body and mind, is critical for the development of well-rounded, healthy, successful children.