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In Being a Boy, Charles Dudley Warner described recess in late-19th-century New England schools as a shining light in a school culture characterized by discipline and weariness. Children expect to receive a respite from the rigors of the school day in the form of outdoor recess. School recess periods provide children with opportunities to engage in freely chosen activities with their peers and are recognized cross-culturally as an important component of the school day. In China and Japan, for example, students are offered recess breaks between formal lessons, and in the United Kingdom preschool children are offered periodic breaks from the early childhood classroom. This entry examines the benefits of noncurricular play, including its academic, emotional, social, physical, and creative benefits. This entry also ...

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