Shopping Cart 0

How To Plan Recess Zones


How To Plan Recess Zones

Planning your outdoor playspace is extremely important! 

According to an Aug. 2016 study conducted by the University of Missouri, titled In the Zone: An Investigation into Physical Activity during Recess on Traditional versus Zoned Playgrounds, “Researchers found that average physical activity increased by 10 percent and children averaged 175 steps more on a zoned playground compared to a traditional playground.”

In other words, researchers found that children moved more in a zoned playground than in a traditional playground. But what the heck is a zoned playground?

Zoned Recess Areas

recess and playground zoning venn diagram

Zoned recess areas (or "zoned playgrounds/playground zones") are playgrounds that are divided into specific areas or “zones.” Each “zone” has an assortment of activities associated with the theme of that particular zone, which can include a physical exercise zone, a relaxation zone, a sports zone, and a zone tailored to social/wellness aids.

For example, kids can play hopscotch, jump rope, or complete activity circuits in the physical exercise zone. Meanwhile, in the relaxation zone, kids play chess and checkers. Games like kickball, soccer, or basketball stay in the sports zone, whereas an activity like Fit and Fun Playscapes’ custom “Buddy Circle”, “Yoga Poses” or “Peace Path by Soul Shoppe” stencils can be placed in the social/wellness aids zone.

Fit and Fun Playscapes recognizes the importance of recess and play in a child’s physical, emotional and social development, and is the only recess stencil company that offers a professional, in-house sketch service to help you with the planning and zoning of your custom playspace. After all, Fit and Fun Playscapes was named as a resource by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) for creating an environment supportive of active play in their Jan. 2017 “Recess Planning Guide.”

children using a zoned playground

But how do you start planning your outdoor playspace? Here are some quick steps to get you moving in the right direction!

  1. Select the location where you’re going to paint the custom stencils. This is the most important part of the project. If possible, you should measure the location so you have an idea of the size and shape of your playspace. This will give you an idea of what stencils you should buy.
  2. Define the target age group, budget, and determine the approval process for your playspace started. Check out our downloadable catalog for information about pricing, shipping, license, and return policies.
  3. Choose stencils and pattern options. Fit and Fun offers a variety of individual stencils and packages, as well as custom design options. Once you have an idea of what you’d like to purchase, request a formal quote for prospective stencils and supplies. This will give you an idea of shipping/handling costs and sales tax (where applicable) as well as the various layout and design services Fit and Fun Playscapes offers!
  4. Be aware you may need to consult with local maintenance staff and/or paint supply stores on specific preparation requirements for your stencils. Want to save a trip to the paint store? Fit and Fun Playscapes offers a custom paint supply kit, prepared with high-quality Sherwin-Williams paint and matched in whatever quantity you need, that you can purchase directly from our website. If ordering four or more stencils, Fit and Fun can create a custom package and often apply a discount.
  5. Organize your paint team. Identify a paint day and alternate paint day in case it rains. Make sure the weather is dry enough for the paint to properly cure. Typically, you should allow 24-48 hours in dry weather conditions from start to finish.
  6. Plan ahead and don’t forget to check the weather well in advance!
  7. Order and purchase your stencils and/or paint supplies. Fit and Fun Playscapes recommends you order your stencils three to four weeks in advance. This ensures your paint team is familiar with all application instructions prior to paint day.
  8. Paint your stencils. You will first want to prepare your surfaces according to instructions on the paint can and/or facilities maintenance staff. Instructions will depend on the surface material.
  9. Do not forget to be kind to your paint team. Bring some healthy snacks and water. Provide cleanup supplies and instructions to your paint team. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures before, during and after, because the transformation is amazing! 

The steps can seem daunting, but Fit and Fun Playscapes offers a wide variety of options that ease the process of purchasing and applying stencils to your outdoor/indoor playspace. We have a team of designers available to help in whatever capacity necessary to bring your playspace to life! You can also check out our Online Recess Resource Center to find the latest in all things recess!

New call-to-action

Join 15,000+ educators.

Subscribe to get our popular newsletter and more fun content to help you get those kiddos moving!

Leave a comment

Fit & Fun Blog / active play / Fit and Fun Playscapes / reusable stencils / tim davis / healthy children / sensory pathways / phys ed / physical education / recess stencils / sensory play / pe / pe ideas / sensory pathways for school / stencils / advocacy / super stickers / sensory processing disorder / healthy lifestyle / recess / sensory pathways for kids / social-emotional learning / active adult / active seniors / adult play / fit and fun forever / friendship / playground stencils / Sensory Pathways 101 w/ Dr. Tim Davis / playground / sensory hallway / sensory walks / teacher talks / Space Saver Roll-Outs / active sidewalks / cross curricular / healthy kids / physical distancing / spd / spray chalk / CDC / buddy circle / chalk the walk / custom stencils / outdoor sensory pathways / sensory pathway / social distancing / Activating SEL / communities / hopscotch / parks and recreation / sensory path / teacher shortage / At-Home Activities / Fit and Fun Talks / SEL activities / Talks with teachers / brain break / brain break ideas / make more of recess / motor planning skills / pbis / phys ed ideas / recess planning / recess resource center / save pe / activity circuits / childhood obesity / clear the lists / grants / healthy kid / high blood pressure / outdoor recess activities / teacher appreciation / year in review / 10 best / Newsletter Letters / SHAPE America / anti-bullying / calming corner / clearthelist / healthy childre / pbis framework / recess zoning / Jim Hambel / Q&A / andrew romberger / anna forcelledo / chalk the wal / classroom / customer support / faq / football / frequently asked questions / hea / hiller aviation museum / holidays / indoor recess / monthly spotlight / nature stickers / sensory processing disorde / superbowl / teacher appreciation month / tim davi / wash your hands / what the heck are those