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More Playtime for Better Academic Achievement

More Recess Time Leads to Better Focus and Academic Performance at School

As a play therapist, I am constantly talking to parents and teachers about the importance of unstructured playtime for children. In an era of less recess and more instructional time in the classroom, it’s often a very difficult sell.

More playtime and recess time may seem counterintuitive, but we now have the research and the programs to back it up.

Thanks to a new program, LiiNK ( created by Debbie Rhea at Texas Christian University, many schools are adopting a 15-minute recess, 4 times per day (two in the morning and two in the afternoon) approach. The new program is proving what we already knew to be true- that increased physical activity and recess leads to students that are better prepared and equipped to learn when they are in the classroom.

Teachers in this program are seeing improved concentration, increased ability to solve problems, increased creativity, increased attention to detail, and an increased ability to follow directions.

In addition to the Liink program providing amazing results in favor of increased recess time, the American Academy of Pediatrics is on board as well, calling recess “a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development.”

So there you have it. Want to help your child reach his or her full potential and achieve higher cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral gains? Looks like you may need to head outside for some unstructured playtime.

Laura McLaughlin is the Founder and Therapist at HeadFirst Counseling in Dallas, TX. Laura works with children, teens, and adults to help them learn to love and accept themselves by letting go of the external conditions that hold them back. Read more about Laura and HeadFirst Counseling at

Laura can be reached by contacting the HeadFirst Office at (469) 665-9416 or

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