Including safe and positive games at recess creates a space for everyone on the playground. A variety of games helps both teachers and students feel more secure, and have more fun.
What kinds of games make a great recess? When setting up your playground, make sure to include these three types of games every day:
Rotational games are fast, with high turnover of participants — students move in and out in an organized way. They’re great for engaging a variety of students across gender, skill level, and age. Fun rotational games include:
Large Group Games
Any game that engages large groups of students in a contained space. Large group games allow students an opportunity to connect with new people and make friends. Examples include:
Independent games can be played by an individual or small group — they’re great for students who aren’t ready for more intense games, or students who just want a more mellow recess. Set aside a space for this type of play to keep your playground organized and chaos free. Examples include:
Let’s get the games going!
What you can try this week:
- Check your playground map — is there space for all three types of games?
- Set up and try out one game from the three categories of play that your students haven’t tried yet.
- Get in the game! Adults can encourage play, and model behavior for kids, when we take an active role on the playground.
When I first arrived at the school 6 years ago, students did not know how to engage in play. They would run around the yard. Now, students are plugged into a variety of games.Bryant Elementary, CA