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Try This: Fun Recess Games

Tweens playing on playgroundAt your school, do kids play the same games over and over on the playground during recess? Try these versions of classic games. They're a little different, and maybe even more fun.

 

Sock Tag

In this version of tag, you take a sock -- or a ribbon or clothespin -- and tuck it in your pants, like a tail.

  • Once you start the game, each person tries to grab the other kids' "tails."
  • If your tail gets taken, you have to do a chosen move -- like 10 jumping jacks or a somersault.
  • Then you can start chasing players to get more tails again.
  • Whoever has the most tails at the end wins.

Up and Down

This is called "Oonch Neech" in Pakistan. But it's a lot like tag. Here's how you play:

  • One person is "It" and runs to try to catch the other players.
  • To stay safe from It, players don't just use a "home base." They have to get on top of something, like a bench, a jungle gym, or anything stable you can climb.

Creative Kickball

Want to give kickball a new zing? Try it like this:

  • The pitcher rolls the ball to the player at bat who is ready to kick the ball.
  • As he pitches the ball, the pitcher shouts out an activity like "Bunny hop!" or "Flap your arms like chicken!"
  • Once the batter kicks the ball, he has to hop or flap instead of just run from base to base.

Over-Under-Through

This can be like Follow the Leader. Here's how you play:

  • Everyone lines up on an imaginary obstacle course around the playground or field.
  • One person is the leader and calls out actions for everyone to follow. They should be ways to move -- "walk like a crab," "crawl under an elephant's legs," or "swim through jelly."
  • Keep doing that action over and over until the leader calls out another.
  • After you get through the course, the next person in line gets to be leader.

Ankle Races

This relay race is kind of like a potato sack race.

  • Grab your ankles and run to the finish line while you're still holding them.
  • You have to start over if you fall down or lose your grip, so you don't always have to be fast to win.
  • You could also try it while crab-walking.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD, FAAP on December 23, 2013