An important pillar of Waldorf Education is the emphasis on active play. Starting at parent-child classes, and continuing through the school years, students are encouraged to spend time outdoors—in all weather conditions—to explore and to challenge their mind and bodies. Recess period is no less important than classroom periods.
The benefits of free play and recess periods are myriad. Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and author developed and runs an experiential nature program, TimberNook that has much in common with Waldorf Education. She has written several insightful weblog posts on relevant topics, including the importance of recess, unrestricted outdoor play, and the importance of movement for academic achievement. She is also the author of Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children.
All worth reading.