Best 10 Old-School Recess Games Your Students Should Be Playing Now
Wednesday, 15 May 2019

 What would school be without recess? A true torture! Can you imagine the students being stuck in their chairs for at least seven hours and without any space to move and relax? Can you imagine the teacher being fully engaged for all that time?


Recess is necessary. It’s the free time, during which the students are temporarily away from the classroom. They get quick snacks, they socialize, go to the restroom, or get homework written. 

Should a teacher do something to make this break more effective? It means more engagement for them, but it also leads to a more effective recess for everyone. 

We’ll list 10 great games that students have always been playing during recess. Most of the students today are not playing them, so it’s a teacher’s job to bring them back to life. 

10 Old-School Games for Recess

1. Freeze Dance

If it’s raining outside and you’d like to keep the kids in the classroom during recess, freeze dance is a fun game to play. All you need to do is choose music that the kids like. You can put someone in charge for the music, too. 

The students will start dancing when the music starts, and they will freeze in position when the music stops. If someone keeps moving when the music stops, they “burn” out of the game 

2. The Freewriting Game

Is there a student who doesn’t dread the essay assignment? With writing being so challenging, they often turn to a custom writing service online. The student can learn a lot from an affordable custom writer, but they also avoid practicing writing. 

You can inspire them to practice through a game. Offer any topic you know the students would like. It shouldn’t be overly academic. They can write about a sports team, a toy, robots, or anything else they are interested in. Give them ten minutes for freewriting - they write whatever comes to their mind after you pick the topic. Then you’ll see what everyone came up with. 

3. Spud

Spud is a classic game for all ages. You choose the “It” for the round. This is a student who stands in the middle of the crowd. They will toss the ball straight up as the others run away. When the ball is at the peak, the It calls a player’s number and runs away. 

The player who was called out must run back to get the ball. Once they get it, they command everyone to freeze by saying the command: “Spud!” They hit one of the students with the ball. That’s the new It. 

4. Dodgeball: Guard the Queen/King

One of the students will be the Queen, and another one will be the bodyguard. Make sure to assign these roles to different students each time. The queen stands within a 3-foot area all the time, and the bodyguard tries to protect her from the ball that the other students throw at her. 

When the Queen gets hit, she becomes the bodyguard. The person who threw the winning ball becomes the new Queen/King.
5. Sprint Races

Outdoor races are a great way to get your students moving. They need physical activity, and gym class is usually not enough to fully meet that need. 

6. Red Rover

Red Rover is an active and fun outdoor game. You’ll split the class in two teams, standing in two rows facing each other. First, one of the teams calls out a member of the other team: “Red Rover, Red Rover, let X come over.” The one who’s called out runs towards the other team’s row and tries to break through the hands. If they break the row, they take one of the members back to their team. If they don’t, they stay in the other team. 

7. Capture the Flag

In this game, the teams must protect their territory and try to take over the territory of a competitive team. Each team picks a spot to place a flag, which shouldn’t be moved throughout the game. 

The point is to get the other team’s flag and take it to your team’s territory, while protecting your team’s flag at the same time. Fun!

8. Hopscotch

Maybe there’s a hopscotch pattern in the school’s yard, so you can use it. If not, you can always use a chalk to draw one. Everyone loves playing hopscotch! 

9. Chinese Jump-Rope

There’s a specific pattern, which you’ll show to your students. All you need is a stretchy rope or few of them, since it’s best to separate the students in teams. Two players will hold the rope while the others jump. Once someone makes a mistake, they take the place of a holder.

10. Shadow Tag

This game is perfect for a break on a sunny day. The student will try to tag the shadows of other players while protecting their own. 
Can You Make Recess Fun for Your Students?
Even during recess, the teacher has a responsibility to keep their students safe. If they help them to have fun, it’s a win-win situation. The above-listed games will make you the best teacher at school!

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