Once the students have left for recess, I set out a bucket on each table. The buckets contain materials the students can use independently at their tables, ie play-doh, lego, peg boards, pattern blocks, tracers, felt boards, I Spy books etc. When the students come in from recess, they know there are activities at their tables, and they settle in to them quickly. This gives me a few extra minutes in case I was unable to return to the classroom immediately after recess because of outdoor supervision, a staff meeting, or dealing with an issue that arose during recess. It also give me a couple of minutes to get the next lesson's materials organized! Each table gets the bucket for a day, and I rotate activities every week or two.