August 5, 2016

Ramp Up Recess

By Jenny Nations, Ditto Elementary, Arlington ISD

As a part of our partnership with Fuel Up To Play 60, we decided to increase creative playtime at recess by providing sports equipment for each grade level.  Recognizing the importance of students using creative time to play outside, we used funds from Healthy Zone Schools to provided volleyballs, soccer balls, jump ropes, and other items to each grade level and gave them a bag to store it.  We believe by using this idea for Ramp Up Recess we have created a healthier, more active atmosphere at our school. Each bag has different sports equipment to encourage and provide the opportunity for kids to play during recess. 

Each kit has equipment in one specific color, which allows us to easily return the items to the correct grade level if it should be left outside.  What we have found, however, is that the kids are being responsible about picking up their equipment so they can use it every day.  This has increased play at recess across each grade level. An added bonus is that teacher reported discipline problems have decreased with the use of more equipment.  The new kits have allowed students to utilize additional areas of the playground making each game less crowded.

If you are considering adding equipment to recess, I would recommend ordering different colors for each grade level.  That has helped us tremendously!  The kids feel ownership in their equipment, and want to take care of it.  Something as easy as providing a little equipment for recess has gone far and above what I had dreamed in helping our students make active, healthy choices at school.