Best Recess Equipment for Elementary Schools

Best Recess Equipment for Elementary Schools

Providing simple recess equipment will help students exercise during the recess break. This article provides teachers with the right equipment for a successful recess. 

Why Do You Need Recess Equipment?  

Recess gives students a break to stretch their legs and relax their minds. However, teachers can't expect to let the kids run out in the courtyard and always find ways to entertain themselves. Without recess equipment, the students will likely end up sitting in the shade and chatting rather than exercising. By providing simple recess equipment, teaches can help students take advantage of their recess time and get the most out of the break.

Must-Have Recess Equipment for Every School 

Here are the ten most important things to have at your school for a successful recess. 

1. Jump Ropes and Hula Hoops 

Recess time is simple. The kids look for an outlet for their energy. While they play, their mind relaxes, and they can come back to the classroom ready to learn. Having a few simple jump ropes and hula hoops will provide the perfect way to relieve their stress.  

Jump rope is a classic recess activity. Groups of kids will line up and take turns jumping in the center of a double dutch jump rope while the rest of the kids chant fun rhymes to the turning ropes' beat. On the other side of the courtyard, kids can use hula hoops as they count to see who can spin the hula hoop longest. 

jump rope and hula hoop


2. Rubber Balls

Rubber balls are a must-have for recess. Students can use rubber balls for four-square, wall ball, spud, ball tag, kickball, and more. Having playground balls accessible to the students ensures that the kids will have plenty of options for recess. 

Regardless of the kids' age group, they will have a blast playing with playground balls. They might create new games that foster their creativity, encourage social interaction, and improve social skills. Rubber balls are the perfect addition to inclusive playgrounds. 

Sportime Rubber Playground Balls, Assorted Sizes And Colors, Set Of 4 :  Target

3. Simple Games 

Simple games such as Spikeball and Nine Square help kids to make new friends and learn new skills. Every playground should have at least two court options that kids can set up with adult supervision. Some of the best playground games for kids include: 

  • Spikeball 

Spikeball uses a small trampoline and a bouncing ball. Four players hit the ball onto the trampoline in a constant volley back and forth between the teams. 

Nine Square is an elevated version of four square--which is a class recess activity. This version includes more players and adds another level of competition ideal for older kids. 

  • Cornhole 

Cornhole is both competitive and relaxed. Students who don't want to run circles will themselves drawn to the simplicity of cornhole. 

With at least two game options, kids can vary their recess activity every day, exposing them to various fun games and experiences. 

9-square, spikeball and cornhole


4. Chalk 

Recess isn't complete with chalk. Many students love to express themselves through drawing, and relax best when they're able to exercise their creativity. Chalks is a simple way to ensure that the kids are getting outside in the sun while also encouraging them to explore art and learn to express ideas in the form of drawing.  

Chalk also introduces kids to other games such as hopscotch. One child could draw out hopscotch, and the entire class could have fun jumping through the square for the entirety of the school day. Chalk is the perfect thing to introduce to outdoor recess. 


5. Frisbees

Kids love the challenge of throwing a frisbee. Not to mention, there are countless activities for kids who know how to throw frisbees. You can set up buckets around the yard and introduce the kids to frisbee golf. Or you could show the kids how to play ultimate frisbee. Frisbees are versatile, making them one of the best things to add to your recess equipment list. Free Vector | Set of girl doing different activities on white


6. Cones  

Cones make a quick and easy addition to your recess equipment. Cones have a variety of uses. Kids can use the cones as targets and try to land a hula hoop over the cone, or they can use them as traffic cones in imaginative games. Whatever the purpose, cones are a surprisingly fun addition to your school playground equipment.  

Your recess equipment should encourage the kids and students to be creative in their games. Simple items, such as a cone, can be a great way to teach kids to come up with their own games at every recess. 10pcs/lot Soft PE Disc Cones Agility Soccer Cones for Training Sign  Football Kids Outdoor Sports Accessories Field Cone Markers|Soccers| -  AliExpress


7. Soccerballs 

Teaching kids how to play sports at a young age is a perfect way to entertain them during recess. Soccer is a fun sport perfect for recess. Whether the kids are playing soccer or simply kicking the ball back and forth across the courtyard, the soccer ball presents an easy way to get their energy out while teaching them a valuable skill.  

You might also consider adding additional sports balls such as footballs, volleyballs, basketballs, and tennis balls. 

soccer balls

8. Hacky Sacks 

One of the best ways to teach kids new skills and encourage social skills is by introducing hacky sacks. Hacky sack is a fun game where kids hit the small bean bags on their ankles. The kids can learn tricks and how off to one another, all while encouraging their friends to get better at the skill. The game helps kids to learn hand-eye coordination and develop important fine motor skills. 

Hacky Sack –


9. Parachute

Kids should only play parachutes when there is constant adult supervision, meaning that an adult teacher will have to participate in the game. A parachute is a large piece of fabric with handholds along the edges. Depending on the parachute's size, up to 20 kids can all play at the same time.  

The kids will lift their handles, causing the parachute to wave and fluctuate in interesting patterns. Teachers can challenge the kids by giving them challenges such as, "Make waves with the parachute," or "Make stormy waves with the parachute." Parachute encourages the kids to think outside the box and to use their creativity. parachute games

10. Playground Games 

One of the most important things to have in your elementary school is a playground. Playgrounds require adult supervision but can be the best thing for kids. From the slides to the monkey bars, the playground encourages constant exercise.  

The kids will create their own games and challenges on the equipment that will tone their bodies and teach them to love exercise. It's a larger purchase for most schools, but it's essential for any successful recess hour. Check out some of the best playground games for kids. 

playground games


If you are interested in other sports ideas look for equipment here and other ideas here

Best Recess Equipment for Elementary Schools

Ian Boggess

About the Author

Ian has been with Castle Sports for the last 4 years. He loves designing games for fitness and activity that get the whole group involved.

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