The Council on Physical Education for Children and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education emphasize the importance of unstructured playtime in their official position paper, Recess in Elementary Schools. The position is based on extensive research revealing major improvement in student behavior and memory retention post recess, stating “quality physical education along with daily recess are necessary components of the school curriculum that enable students to develop physical competence, health-related fitness, self responsibility, and enjoyment of physical activity so that they can be physically active for a lifetime.”

Students who spend more time outdoors during recess have been shown to display higher levels of attentiveness and better adherence to class rules post play. One study, conducted by researchers at Georgia State University, compared behavior of over forty children on days when they were granted recess time versus behavior on days when they were not. “Sixty percent of the children, including all five of those with attention deficit disorder, and a balance of boys and girls benefited considerably. They worked more or fidgeted less (or both) on recess days.”

Elementary school principals also reveal great improvement in student behavior and achievement of academics post recess in a nationwide survey. The National Association of Elementary School Principals surveyed nearly 2,000 principals and assistant principals in a Gallup poll to better gauge the impact of outdoor play on students. Key findings include the following:

  • Ninety-six percent of participants concluded that recess has a positive impact on social development.
  • Ninety-seven reported that recess has a positive impact on overall health and well-being.

Elementary and preschools reap major benefits from outdoor playtime with the installation of playground equipment designed to help children achieve milestones appropriate for their developmental level. Selecting age appropriate equipment helps with both motor development and playground safety, as equipment is designed for age ranges based on physical ability.

Those designed for ages 5 to 12, for example, will have higher platform and climber heights than the 2-5 sets. If you are in need of a play area for both preschool and elementary school aged children, the 2-12 range may be right for you. At Pro Playgrounds, we offer a wide selection of high quality play sets, spring riders, climbers and more appropriate for various age levels. Take the first step towards higher academic achievement at your learning institution. Browse our selection of outdoor recreation equipment today!