Created by: Aaron Hart, Lynn Hefele, Jason Leach, Mike Morris, Ben Pirillo, Rich Wiles
Special Contributions: Anne Kubitsky, Joanna Faerber, Deedi Brown
Special Thank You: Kids Heart Challenge, Eat Move Grow
 Jennifer Truong

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons. (Pediatrics 2013; 131: 183-188)

This article gives information and citations to support the cognitive and academic benefits of recess, as well as the social and emotional benefits. At OPEN, we understand the role that recess also plays in the development of physical literacy and fitness. With all of the evidence to support the importance or Recess for all children, we’ve created Recess Matters to provide accessible programming materials for all schools.

Currently, all Recess Matters resources are currently available in a pilot version. This means that we are collecting feedback from our members and targeted programs in order to relaunch and expand the program in the Spring of 2020. If have interest in any of the resources in this program, please return to the Recess Matters landing page and complete our simple feedback form to help us build and improve.


Module Documents

Link to Discounted Recess Equipment List

Recess Survey Link

Activity Plans

Activity Posters and Cards


  • Standard 3 [E1.K-5] Identifies active play opportunities outside physical education class (K); Discusses the benefits of being active and exercising/playing (1); Describes large-motor and/or manipulative physical activities for participation outside physical education class (e.g., before and after school, at home, at the park, with friends, with the family) (2); Charts participation in physical activities outside physical education class (3a); Identifies physical activity benefits as a way to become healthier (3b); Analyzes opportunities for participating in physical activity outside physical education class (4); Charts and analyzes physical activity outside physical education class for fitness benefits of activities (5).


  • Self-Awareness: Self Efficacy
  • Self-Management: Impulse Control
  • Relationship Skills: Cooperate, Negotiate Conflict, Teamwork, Communication
  • Responsible Decision-Making: Ethical Responsibility
  • Social Awareness: Respect for Others