Active Schools

Active Recess: A Strategy of Active Schools Minnesota

Active recess is an intentional effort to create an environment that encourages physical activity for students and decrease behavior problems and injuries on the playground. It ensures that all students have the opportunity for fun, safe and active play at recess.

“Recess Moves! A Toolkit for Quality Recess” was developed by the Minnesota Department of Education to assess and improve recess practices and gain benefits of quality recess. These best practices include

  • Daily recess for at least 20 minutes for all students K-5.
  • Teach positive playground expectations.
  • Create universal participation by offering multiple activities.
  • Map or zone the playground to designate different areas of play.
  • Provide game equipment to increase participation and decrease congestion on play structures.
  • Provide group games, supervised by adults or older students, to actively engage students and help build social skills.
  • Provide adequate planning and staff training.

Contact: Mary Thissen-Milder, Physical Activity Coordinator, 651-582-8505


Minnesota Department of Education Recess Moves! A Toolkit for Quality Recess.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recess website

SHAPE America Recess website

Active Recess Minnesota Video Series