September 15, 2011 | in Nanny
Playgrounds have gotten so elaborate at schools that kids have forgotten how to use their imaginations and make up games to play at recess. Teachers and other school authorities are so afraid of kids feeling bad about themselves or getting hurt that they have sucked the life out of recess. Soon I feel like they are going to make our kids march as if they are in military school. There have been days when the elementary students will have to walk around the parking lot for recess because they won’t let them go onto the grass for fear they will get muddy. Check out 10 different games to play at recess.
- Jump rope: It seems that jump roping at recess is a thing of the past. I’m not sure why because it’s such good exercise. We used to do Double Dutch which used two ropes going in opposite directions. If you don’t think that was hard I have news for you. It was however great for developing good coordination along with being great exercise. Even if the kids had individual jump ropes they could use it would be a great thing to have on the playground.
- Tag: Gone are the old fashioned games that used to be a lot of fun. People are so afraid that one kid who is “it” is going to feel bad. Heaven forbid a child has to take their turn being it and doing something that they don’t want to do. They don’t have to play. This is a fun game that is great exercise and isn’t that the point of recess. Giving kids a chance to run around and burn off some energy so they can go back in and concentrate on their studies for the rest of the day?
- Red Rover-Red Rover: This game can accommodate any number of kids. The kids break up into two teams and create two lines each team across from each other. The kids decide who they want to call and then they lock their hands together and they call, “Red Rover Red Rover send insert name hereright over.” Then whomever they picked runs as hard and as fast as they can and tries to break through the hands. If they break through they get to grab a player from that team and go back to their original team. If they don’t break through then they have to stay on that team. It’s a lot of fun and yes there are chances that someone won’t get picked first, but it’s all part of growing up. Learning to deal with disappointment in a non-threatening atmosphere.
- Duck, Duck, Goose: Another nostalgic game of a bygone era it seems. All of the kids who want to play sit is a circle and the one person who is it walks around the circle and pats each child on the head and says duck, duck, duck, duck, goose. And when they say goose they run around the circle and the person has to chase them. If the person doing the tapping makes it around the circle back to their spot on the floor first they get to sit down and that person has to be it and do the tapping. If not, they try again with someone else.
- Capture the flag: This game can be modified to be played on a playground. Using two hula hoops, one for each team you put them on either end of the field of play. Then put something inside the hula hoop which can be captured. Anything from a flag to a rubber chicken. It doesn’t matter. There are two teams and each team has protectors of the flag and the others team members are trying to get to the other team’s flag. If you a tagged them you are sent to jail and have to be rescued by your teammate. This game teaches teamwork, strategy and gets the kids active.
- Hopscotch: No need for fancy equipment, this game can be laid out with tape or just chalk. Draw a standard shaped hopscotch board and using a rock you can throw the rock over your shoulder toward the board. Then you have to hop out on the board and pick up the rock while standing on one foot and then hop back. If you mess up then you have to leave the rock there and start over.
- Red light/green light: Pick someone to be “it” and they are in control of the stoplight. They will turn their back on everyone else who is standing back at the starting line. When the person who is “it” says green light everyone can advance toward the person who is “it”. When they said red light everyone has to freeze and the person who is “it” will look for anyone moving. If they catch anyone moving they have to go back to the starting line. Once someone makes it to the person who is “it” they become “it”.
- Simon says: A great game that works on listening skills. Something I think most children can improve upon. Whoever plays Simon is in control of the game. They will try to trick everyone into making a mistake, but the object is to listen carefully and not to make mistakes. If the command is prefaced with, “Simon says, …” then you do that task. If they just say, “Hop on one leg” and don’t preface it with “Simon says, “then whoever does that task is out. They have to sit down until a new game is started.
- Eye Spy: This is a fun game where someone says, “I spy with my little eye something red” or whatever color that they spy. Then people have to ask yes or no questions to figure out what it is that they spy. When they think they know what it is they can guess. If they guess wrong then they are out. If they guess right then they are the next Spy.
- Clapping games: This is a favorite among girls, but I’ve seen boys do it too. This is not a team game, but one that only takes two kids to play. They clap their hands together in a special way or pattern and say some silly rhyme. There are probably as many variations of this as there are kids in a school. This is a good one that can be handed down from mother to daughter.
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