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How playing on swings can help children understand physics

The Conversation – Francis Mavhunga

“What they may not realise is that they’re learning while playing. The swing allows children to physically experience a wide range of physics concepts: velocity, gravitational potential energy – the sort of energy that allows a large swinging mass to be used to break down buildings – weightlessness, period of swing and the rush of wind resistance.” (more)

Free play is great for kids. Now pediatricians say so

The Dallas Morning News – Karin Klein

“The award for best line ever in a medical report: “Play is not frivolous.” It’s not new, the idea that free play helps children develop in remarkable ways. Multiple studies have found that play builds social skills and creativity and develops the ability to solve problems and to collaborate.” (more)

Adults play a key role in children’s participation in school recess, researchers suggest

Medical X-Press – Michelle Klampe

“When adults are participants in school recess—leading games, monitoring play and ensuring conflicts are mediated quickly—children are more likely to be engaged in recess activities, a new study has found. The study, which focused on the recess environment and student engagement during school recess periods, also found that students were more likely to be active and engaged during longer recess periods; that boys were more engaged in recess that girls; and that recess provides more than a quarter of students’ school-based physical activity each day.” (more)

The play’s the thing for elementary ed

District Administration – Lori Keorner

“Play is not a luxury; it is a necessity. In many districts across the United States, recess in elementary school is being questioned, reduced and even eliminated to increase instructional time. The assumption behind this is that Common Core has placed more pressure on teachers and students to score better in the classroom. There has been little research that has proven that more time in the classroom, and less time at recess, equals better academic outcomes for children.” (more)

Are You Doing Recess Right? A New Tool Can Help

Edutopia – Youki Terada

“Despite the proven benefits, students probably aren’t getting the most out of recess, finds a new study that offers up a 17-point checklist to optimize the playground experience. While there’s little doubt that children get exercise on the playground—recess accounts for up to 44 percent of their steps taken during the school day—schools often underestimate the social, emotional, and academic potential of playtime and fail to design recess to optimize those benefits.” (more)

When it comes to school recess, a quality playground experience matters

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Recess periods can offer physical, cognitive, social and emotional benefits to elementary school children, but those benefits are tied closely to the quality of the playground experience. Playground safety, access to play equipment, peer conflict resolution and quality engagement between adults and students are among the factors that contribute to a quality recess experience, new research from Oregon State University shows.” (more)