School Recess: A Fundamental Moment in Children's Lives

School recess is a time during the day when children can relax, have fun and socialize with their peers. This fundamental space strengthens their interpersonal relationships and universal values.
School Recess: A Fundamental Moment in Children's Lives

Last update: 16 December, 2018

One of the moments that children most look forward to is school recess. It’s the time in which they can snack, relax, play, chat, run and have fun with their friends. 

This short break from academic activities gives children just the space they need to develop motor skills and abilities. It also gives them the opportunity to develop interpersonal relationships and universal values like friendship, respect and companionship .

The benefits of school recess

  • Children can interact with and without the direct supervision of their teachers. This helps them feel that they can decide what to do and with whom. As a result, it encourages decision making.
  • Recess strengthens friendships among classmates.
  • As children play during school recess, they learn about negotiation, teamwork, winning and losing.
  • Children learn to coexist, and to create and adhere to social norms that help them have better relationships.
  • Playing alone or with classmates has many benefits because children use their imagination by role playing and inventing games.
  • Children develop intelligence and the ability to reason.

School recess provides children with the perfect opportunity to regain energy, clear their minds, interact with one another and have fun. After recess, children are more prepared to go on with their school day .

Because recess gives kids time to drink water and go to the bathroom, it reinforces habits like hygiene and hydration. It also favors the development of motor and physical activities in groups.

Children learn to work as a team with discipline and tolerance while they also improve their physical condition

Without realizing it, children lower their stress level through games and spontaneous interaction. On a cognitive level, recess involves children exploring and formulating their own solutions to problems. They develop creativity and performance on an intellectual level.

One of the moments that school children most look forward to is recess. It’s the time in which they can snack, relax, play, chat, run and have fun with their friends.

Play and its importance during recess

The school playground is the perfect space for carrying out endless games, both education and athletic. Many specialists in child development affirm that playing is a fundamental part of child development.

While playing, children learn to develop their senses, coordination of movements and balance. They get to know their surroundings and learn to interact with their environment.

The most important part of play during recess is that children are able to dig into their imaginations. They can invent new recreational activities with their respective rules. And they create roles and characters that they later act out. These are both physical and mental activities.

Guided recess

Teachers can also get involved during recess through educational games. These include guessing games, songs, circle activities, etc. It’s also fun to see teachers run and play different games and sports with their students.

When teachers participate in recess time, this strengthens the bond between teachers and students. It also makes for a more pleasant and trusting environment.

One of the best activities for teachers to implement during school recess are circuits with different stations. These consist of a series of activities that are entertaining and varied.

Each activity puts the children’s abilities to the test in a dynamic way. Kids really have a lot of fun.

The school playground can be divided into different zones so that children can have fun doing whatever they love most. For example, teachers can designate the following areas :

  • An area for jump roping alone or with friends: This activity stands out for promoting coordination and teamwork.
  • Ball zone: Here children can practice different games and sports that involve a ball.
  • Dance area: Dancing is another great activity that students can enjoy during recess time. It encourages imagination, the coordination of movements, companionship and respect.
  • A space for stories or puppet shows: Here children can have fun with their imaginations and reading.
  • Drawing area: Students can put their drawing and coloring skills to work, and even put their results on display.

Be they athletic, recreational or cultural, all of the activities above are excellent recess options. What’s important is that children feel free to enjoy their surroundings and have lots of fun.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Giménez, J., & Gras, P. (2015). El recreo ¿sólo para jugar? Revista Digital de Educación Física.
  • Bernat, O., y Fundamento, M. (2016). El recreo como espacio educativo y de aprendizaje. Publicaciones Didácticas.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.