Recess at Home - Action for Healthy Kids
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Recess at Home

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Kids Watching BubblesAll kids should strive to get 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Encourage recess at home to help reach these minutes! Recess at home is designated time outside of school where children have opportunities for unstructured play. It’s a great time for parents and guardians to join in physically active games and activities with their children as well.

Take Action

At Home

Set goals. For example, “Schedule 20 minutes of family recess at home this weekend.” Ask children to journal about the activities they played or reward them with healthy incentives for being active.

  • Choose activities that the family already enjoys or have each family member pick a special activity on a rotating basis.
  • Alternatively, try a new activity together! A new sport or game might make families laugh, create new memories, and perhaps learn to use a “new” muscle!
  • Make physical activity part of the daily routine, just as eating, homework, and other routine activities take place.
  • Make recess a family activity: go for a family bike ride, do an exercise video together, or go for a family walk.
  • Aim for 30-60 minutes of activity daily. If you don’t have 30-60 minute blocks of time throughout the day, break up activity into smaller windows. 
  • Take time to intentionally unplug from all technology and enjoy the outdoors.

At School

  • Tell children and families about recess at home. Discuss why sitting less and moving more is important for good health, and how recess at home can contribute!
  • Invite families to participate during recess at school on occasion to spend time with their children and share in the recess experience.
  • During events and parent meetings, invite your PE teacher to attend to teach parents and guardians about easy physical activity games they can play with their children at home.
  • Share these creative ideas for activities the family can try during recess at home.
  • Host a student/family Zoom fitness meeting on a regular basis
  • Email students fitness tips of the week


Not sure where to start? Go for a family walk for recess after dinner. Walking is the simplest way to start being physically active, it costs nothing to get started!

Schedule recess, just like schools do. Identify 20- to 30-minute time slots during the week. Choose times of the day or week when everyone is most likely to stick to the schedule and reschedule instead of cancelling if you experience a conflict. Post your schedule on your refrigerator.

Share your ideas and activities with friends and relatives and invite them to join! Consider scheduling a recess at home activity while everyone is together during holidays and vacations.

Include warm up and cool downs, when necessary. Spend about five minutes before and after recess to warm up and stretch. This is good role modelling for future exercise routines.