RECESS PLANNING & ZONING
Recess planning is recommended to ensure that elementary school students have at least 20 minutes of daily recess as part of the nationally recommended 60 minutes of physical activity, and have access to a variety of fitness, wellness and socialization opportunities. According to the recent “Recess Planning In Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies into Practice” published in January of 2017 by the CDC and Shape America, Fit & Fun Playscapes is proudly listed as a resource for Strategy Category 3: Creating an Environment Supportive of Physical Activity During Recess and we have professional designers to create well-planned recess/ playground areas that suit your budget, configuration and grades/ ages served.
When planning a playground/ recess area, Fit & Fun Playscapes takes into consideration the three (3) physical activity zones as noted in Strategy 12 (Sports Areas, Fitness and Skills Areas and Relaxation Areas) when laying out our stencil games. Zoning a recess area involves dividing the space into separate areas or “zones” with specific activities associated with the space. According to a recent study by the University of Missouri, “In the Zone: An Investigation into Physical Activity during Recess on Traditional Versus Zoned Playgrounds”, researchers found that zoning a playground with specific games improve a child’s chance of engagement and increased physical activity by 10%. Co-author, Jill Barnas reports “By reworking traditional recess games to be more vigorous, children are able to increase their physical activity in a really easy way, improving their health and doing better in school”. Fit & Fun Playscapes recognizes the importance of social and wellness aids and graphics as well, and likes to design these features into a playground/ recess design.
Strategies to increase a child’s level of physical activity during recess are also outlined in “Increasing Physical Activity Through Recess” a research brief published in January of 2012 by the Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Key research strategies include: providing inexpensive playground equipment, recess supervisor training, painting playground surfaces with games or murals, activity zones or any combination thereof.
Fit & Fun Playscapes is the only recess stencil company with professional designers that can prepare a sketch plan, showing our recess stencil games transposed over an image of your playground area, in full color. Zoning recess spaces as well as other planning considerations including points of access, buffer areas between games, etc. all factor into a well organized playground/ recess environment. An example of good planning and zoning is provided to the left, noting that not all play areas are rectangular!
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