The CDC and SHAPE America recently released new guidelines to provide schools with strategies for a safe and healthy recess.

In Jan 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SHAPE America released new guidance documents that provide schools with:

  • Nineteen evidence-based strategies for recess
  • A planning guide
  • A template to help develop a written recess plan that integrates these strategies

Playworks contributed to the development of these guidance documents and we’re excited that the CDC and SHAPE America have taken the step to publicly recognize the importance of recess in the development of our kids.

SHAPE/CDC Recess Guidelines

Jill Vialet’s Response to SHAPE/CDC Recess Guidelines

Interested in getting help to implement these strategies? Our account partners can immediately provide you with a few tactics to get started.

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More Resources


May 9, 2018

Designing an Inclusive Recess ›

How might we help all kids feel included at recess? Part of the answer will always be students who lead by example. But inclusion is also a recess design challenge. Small changes have a big impact on recess culture. At Playworks, we look at everything from the lines on the blacktop to how students play…

March 15, 2018

Recess in the rain… and snow… and… ›

Whether it’s snow, rain, smog, or cold, weather can put a wrench in recess. Playworks is here to help. This toolkit draws on our 20 years of experience on playgrounds and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Kids need physical activity every day, and they are healthier when they get to play outdoors. Fresh air, sunlight,…

February 1, 2018

The Rise of the Recess Team ›

At an elementary school outside of Sacramento, CA, the recess team clusters around four different pieces of butcher paper, drawing maps for TK kindergarten, primary, and upper-grade recesses and for the after-school program recreation time. This is the second day of a two-day recess deep dive, and the group is taking a fresh look at…