Written by Chesa Peter and Kayli McClelland

If you’ve lived in Alberta between October and May (okay, really, any time of year), you know that our winters here can be harsh! The cold weather isn’t going anywhere and neither are we, so it’s time to learn to get along.

The Cold Weather Recess Planning Guide is a free resource to help you co-exist with inclement weather! The guide encourages a proactive and holistic approach to the recess time period, outlining three strategies for cold weather recess that were inspired by Alberta schools. It also includes materials to support the implementation of each strategy.

This resource grew organically from Ever Active Schools’ physical literacy mentorship work focused on re-defining recess. Recess in schools is often defined traditionally as outdoor physical activity. Though we would all agree that physical activity, and even being outdoors, is critical to the growth and development of children and youth, in some cases it may not be meeting the rest, leisure and play needs of all students. Further, what happens when policy requires students to stay indoors due to weather conditions? 

In an effort to help foster a positive recess experience for all students, the mentorship emphasized students as change agents and co-creators of the recess time period. The Cold Weather Recess Planning guide includes a student leadership component which has older students lead safe, fun and inclusive activities for their peers during recess. The guide includes a training program, student leadership handbook and certificate of recognition for schools to use within their own context. 

If you have your own awesome cold weather strategies to share, we’d love to hear about them!

Sample pages from the Cold Weather Recess Planning Guide resource.

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