It's honestly a sad state of affairs if you ask us...when states have to MANDATE recess for children. Still, if that's what it takes to ensure our kids get to maintain some of their childhood, we're for backing states like Georgia, which just made 'unstructured break time' a legal requirement for elementary students in the state.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law into effect that requires kindergarteners through fifth graders in the state to have mandated 'unstructured break time.' The law will go into effect for the 2022-2023 school year and will mandate recess for elementary students every day.

This law means that neither teachers nor school officials can take student recess away for academic or disciplinary reasons, and it's sad that we've come to this when we know how important unstructured time is to kids in their day-to-day life. The new law doesn't dictate just how much recess is mandated; the time and length of recesses will be left up to schools.

Georgia joins nine other states in the country (Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia) in mandating recess time, and while we're saddened that something like this ever had to be legislated in the first place, we're hoping it means more in the education industry are realizing the last several decades of testing, testing, testing with no time for children to be children simply is failing them in a billion different ways. Not to mention, we hope it's a stance on how taking a child's recess for things often out of their control is simply cruel and unnecessary.

Research continually shows that children who get unstructured playtime at school focus BETTER in the classroom than those who don't. This comes from the CDC's and The American Academy of Pediatrics' "The Crucial Role of Recess In School." According to the report,
“Children develop intellectual constructs and cognitive understanding through interactive, manipulative experiences. This type of exploratory experience is a feature of play in an unstructured social environment...There is a wealth of literature published on the need for and benefit of physical activity and fitness, not only for a child’s physical well-being but also for academic and social maturation....Although not all children play vigorously at recess, it does provide the opportunity for children to be active in the mode of their choosing and to practice movement and motor skills.”
Now...if we could just talk states into bringing back unstructured time for middle and high school students too...