Playworks Training Energizes Indoor Recess in Rhode Island

  1. Updates

Everyone knows New England winters are a tough time of year. One day it is warm and the next day it is freezing with five inches of snow on the ground.

Now, more than ever, there is a high chance of cancellation of outdoor recess with the falling snow and low temperatures.  How can students stay active and move around when they are having indoor recess?

Chariho School District in Wyoming, Rhode Island asked that question to Playworks Training Account Manager, Laryssa Calhoun.

The school superintendent, who was already pleased with the original series of workshops Calhoun scheduled in September for outdoor recess, was concerned about transferring these newly acquired skills to indoor recess. Calhoun scheduled Senior Trainer Deb Sugerman, to return to Richmond Elementary in November to train the four recess teams on games and strategies for indoor recess.

When Sugerman asked the recess teams what they currently did during indoor recess, she got answers similar to “We do board games. We let the children play with legos. The teachers don’t let us move any furniture in the classroom and we want the children to play quietly.”

When asked how the students responded, they said, “Their behavior is awful – they bounce off the walls since they can’t move around.”  The adults knew that it was important for the students to be active during recess, but felt they did not have the skills and knowledge to accomplish that in the classroom.

Sugerman focussed on training these recess professionals new ways to get students active and engaged in a classroom, without moving any of the furniture.  She taught them a variety of games perfect for indoors, such as Four Corners, Dance Freeze, and Silent Ball.  The recess teams talked about the strategies that were successful at their outdoor recesses (transitions, openings and closings, rules and consequences) and how those strategies could be brought inside.

At the end of the training, individuals were excited to try the new games and strategies at indoor recess.  One participant said, “I can’t wait to try these out at our next indoor recess.  I usually dread indoor recess because the students are so crazy, but I think these games will help them be active in a more positive way.  They are going to love these games!”

Playworks Training makes a positive impact on students and staff – even during indoor recess.  Contact Laryssa Calhoun (lcalhoun@playworks.org or 978-807-2151) for more information about how to impact your school or organization.

More Updates


August 1, 2022

2021-22 Year End Report ›

After two years of isolation and adapted schooling, our students and staff spent a full year together in school buildings. We continued innovating to meet the needs of students, schools, and partners. Our return to in-person events was filled with joy, and throughout it all, bringing the healing power of play to students across New…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical question: what are the intersections between play, social and emotional learning, physical activity, and trauma? A working group focused on this question decided, among other…

parent playing with kids outside
parent playing with kids outside

July 21, 2022

Games to play at home this summer ›

Are you looking for games to play at home using only things found around your house? Look no further! In case you haven’t heard – school’s out for summer! With long stretches of hot days still to come, you might be looking forward to playing some new games with your family or people in your…