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Therapeutic Recreation


The John McGivney Children’s Centre (JMCC) therapeutic recreation team utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to promote optimal health for children and youth with disabilities. We work closely with families to set goals and develop programs that will improve kids’ physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning in order to strengthen independence and encourage full participation in everyday life.
These activity-based programs may include:
  • Sports: Boccia, basketball, golf, dance, cheerleading, bowling, swimming, yoga, track and field
  • Arts: Drama, music therapy, photography
  • Social: Teen clubs, girls groups, boys game nights
  • Other: Cooking courses, outdoor exploration, community outings
Through active participation in these and other programs, we support the physical, mental and emotional well-being of our clients by seeking to reduce depression, stress and anxiety; improve basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively.


  • Assess client needs, abilities, strengths and interests in order to direct a therapeutic recreation intervention plan
  • Work with families to set goals and encourage active family involvement in helping to achieve these goals
  • Develop recreation programs that will encourage kids to achieve health goals while participating in activities they enjoy
  • Reinforce many of the physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy goals by using age-appropriate activities that add fun opportunities for repetition and practice in the context of play
  • Help integrate children and youth with special needs into community programs that interest them
  • Advocate for a more accepting and inclusive Windsor-Essex community by building strong relationships, breaking down barriers to participation and modifying activities to provide opportunities to children and youth with various abilities
These services are offered both in our Centre and in the Windsor-Essex community.


Therapeutic recreation services are offered to children and youth under the age of 19, and young people between the ages of 19 and 21 who remain in secondary school and reside in Windsor and Essex County.

JMCC Clients:

Children and youth under the age of 21 who are receiving a service from JMCC are eligible for therapeutic recreation. Our recreation therapist works to remove barriers for clients to encourage full participation, however, some participant criteria exists and varies depending on the program or activity (e.g. age, interest, ability to follow instruction).

Non-JMCC Clients:

Children and youth under the age of 21 who are not existing JMCC clients are also eligible for Therapeutic Recreation if there is a demonstrated need. You can participate in programing after meeting with our Recreation Therapist to determine if a program if suitable to your abilities, however, some participant criteria exists and varies depending on the program or activity (e.g. age, interest, ability to follow instruction). Families are encouraged to self-refer to this program by completing our Referral Form and our Recreation Therapist will communicate with families about their child or youth becoming a client of JMCC.

Check out the resources section for a list of our current and past programs! 


Intake & Referrals:
Intake & Referrals Page

Past JMCC Recreation Programs:
Fall 2022 Program Guide
July - August 2022 Program Guide

Benefits of Therapeutic Recreation

Recreation Activities for Families
Activity Checklist: Baking cookies together, building a fort, doing a silly dance & more! This checklist will help you keep track of all the activities you have done together. Feel free to use this example or make one of your own!

Family Superstar Jar: Celebrate kindness and laughs with your family by keeping track of them in your superstar jar!

Nature Soup: Explore outside to find some key items that will help bring spring to your neighbourhood!

Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt: Head out for a family walk and have fun looking for various items in nature. 

Live Stream Yoga for Families: Yellow Bus Yoga instructor Karli, who has hosted multiple yoga classes in partnership with JMCC Therapeutic Recreation, is hosting daily Facebook Live activities including yoga, meditation and circle time. 

Self-care BINGO: A fun activity for families to take part in together and a great way to make sure we are taking care of ourselves. Complete your BINGO card and share it with us on Facebook (@JohnMcGivneyChildren'sCentre). Feel free to also share pictures of your family participating in the tasks included on the BINGO card.