About the Program

This 6-week program was developed by occupational therapists (OT) to be embedded during recess with the purpose of creating a positive recess experience so that all students can enjoy playing and socializing with friends. The ultimate goal of the 6-week program is to provide 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, promoting positive behavior, and creating opportunities for inclusion of all students.

Based on pilot studies of implementation in several school districts, significant positive changes in student perceptions of their recess experience after just 6 weeks have been noted, including improvements in:

  • Experiencing recess as enjoyable, especially in children that initially did not enjoy recess
  • Thinking that other children are friendly
  • Perceiving recess supervisors as more friendly and helpful
  • Having enjoyable recess activities

Recess supervisors report feeling more prepared to do their jobs based on the knowledge, skills and support gained from the Refreshing Recess program (e.g. having the necessary supports to promote play; knowing how to interact socially with children; and knowing how to successfully resolve conflict).

Sustain it! Maintain a positive recess culture!
Following the 6 week program, it is our hope that school staff and students will commit to sustaining a positive recess environment by using the resources provided on this website and those located in the Recess tab of the Every Moment Counts Pinterest site.