Recess has always been a favorite among students young and old. Many schools all over the country implement a mandatory recess period whether it be outdoor play time for elementary students or a free period for high school students.
Many childhood specialists believe recess is extremely important for children to decompress and be active. Many students do better in school when they are given small breaks between work. Recess is also important to the education system because it gives young people who typically have more energy, an outlet to creatively and physically express that energy.
Today over 6 million children in school have diagnosed ADHD, recess is imperative for these students especially as a time to decompress between classes. All students find more success with periodic breaks from the scheduled school day. Another growing problem that recess can help out with in American schools is childhood obesity. Every human on earth benefits from exercise and it is great to instill this at an early age so children can develop these healthy attitudes and habits alongside their peers. Recess should be a no brainer but there are still states that have zero laws regarding recess and others that actively shoot down laws that ask for mandatory recess time for children.
This map from the team at PlaygroundEquipment.com displays the recess policy across America. So what states score the highest? There are only five states that require mandatory recess, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, and Rhode Island require 20 minutes of daily recess for elementary students. Maine, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Texas all get big F’s on the score sheet as they have no recess laws or mandates required for their school students.
Some of these states like Maine and Maryland also allow recess to be withheld as punishment. How does your state score?
Read next: Why Is Early Childhood Education Important?