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Play at school: Recess, and these games, boost child development

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Associated Press

(Read caption) Play at school can increase student abilities in ways academic lessons cannot, pediatricians say. Here, two elementary students play during indoor recess in Iowa. File/2011.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a policy statement that recognizes the value of recess for children. The AAP wrote:

Recess during school offers children cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits they don’t get through academics alone.

According to the AAP:

The AAP also noted that some schools cite safety issues as a barrier to recess and free play and offers steps to protect children while offering free and unstructured  play.

The AAP statement provides a large boost to those who have been advocating for recess and free play in the face of calls for more academic and scheduled time for children. Last year, an important study published by the AAP revealed that pre-school children are far too sedentary for their physical and psychological health. The recent policy statement notes that “even minor movement during recess counterbalances sedentary time at school and at home.”


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