Refreshing Recess

Refreshing Recess is one of several model programs developed as a part of the Every Moment Counts: Promoting Mental Throughout the Day initiative, which focuses on embedding strategies throughout the day to help all children and youth become mentally healthy in order to succeed in school, at home and in the community.

Time spent during recess is an important part of the school day for all students to take a break from classroom work, engage in active play activities, and socialize with friends. When the recess environment promotes enjoyable participation, students return to their classrooms ready to learn, have fewer behavioral problems, and feel more connected to their school.

Program developed by: Rebecca Mohler, MA, OTR/L, Shannon Kerns, OTR/L and Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L

The purpose of this 6-week program is to create a positive recess experience for all students by providing the recess supervisors and students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources needed to sustain a positive recess environment. Specifically, Refreshing Recess was designed to support school personnel during recess and to give them strategies for fostering friendships, engaging children in a variety of play activities, resolving conflicts, and promoting positive behavior. This program provides the foundation for creating a positive recess culture for all students with and without disabilities. Sustainability requires the commitment of school staff and students to re-visit and reinforce the weekly themes by embedding enjoyable activities (see Every Moment Counts Pinterest for ideas).

Use the resources provided in the tabs on the left to help you:

  • Learn about the Refreshing Recess program
  • Hear what staff and students say about it (video clips)
  • Learn how to implement the program - Just do it! Weekly Lesson Plans
  • Download power point presentations, bookmarks, posters, and other materials
  • Read about the research outcomes

Download and share a copy of the Refreshing Recess Information Brief