Safe Return to Play & Recess Guidelines

  1. Updates

Playworks is helping schools continue to reimagine recess.

For the past 24 years, Playworks has partnered with elementary schools to help kids stay active and build valuable social-emotional skills through play. As schools prepare re-opening plans, we want to help provide resources for implementing both in-school and virtual play or recess experiences. We developed Recess Guidelines to include options for what recess could look like based on CDC and state guidelines as of July 2020. We know states, districts, and individual schools are developing many plans for reopening, and no matter what variation of online or in-person experiences they offer next school year, Playworks is here to help.

View the Recess Guidelines


COVID-19 is changing the way we move, interact, and play on or off the playground.

As we move toward a new school year that will be impacted by COVID-19, we need to approach play differently. This game guide will help with transitioning to safe and healthy play and is appropriate for adaptations of the school experience for kids. It uses the Playworks SEL Game Guide and The Aspen Institute’s Return to Play Guidelines to break down the return to play into three phases by using a stoplight system to define risk categories. The recommendations below will help you understand how games can safely be integrated as kids, teachers, and school staff go back to school.

Risk categories are assigned relative to other ways of participating in that game or activity, based on the public health and scientific understandings of COVID-19 and how it can be transmitted as of July 2020. Activities are segmented into three types of risk posed both to participants and others.

 

Download the Safe Return to Play Guide

 

For more information about Playworks or any of our programs please contact info@playworks.org.

More Updates


May 12, 2021

10 Tips for Teaching Physical Distance ›

As kids return to school in person… It may be difficult to keep them physically distant. Although the CDC has updated COVID safety guidance to be a physical distance of 3 feet for students rather than the previous 6 feet, that can still feel like a lot to children. After months away from their friends…

students playing on blacktop
students playing on blacktop

April 29, 2021

Leveraging Play to Address Learning Loss ›

In order to help kids recover from learning loss, we must ensure their emotional needs are met. We need to prioritize every child’s wellbeing, and that starts with acknowledging that many kids are healing from traumas caused by the pandemic, including social, emotional, and physical impacts of COVID-19.  “When children experience stress and trauma, it…

April 22, 2021

The Importance of Including Recess in School Reopening Plans ›

To elementary school leaders and teachers, When offering guidance on school reopening, the CDC and most states don’t specifically provide guidelines for recess. Yet, we know that kids, parents, and educators want to ensure returning to school is safe and feels fun for kids, and that should always include recess, because kids benefit from playing…