9 Active At-Home Recess Ideas for Kids

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9 Active At-Home Recess Ideas for Kids

September 01, 2020
posted by Mindy Schanzle

Back-to-school has taken on a whole new meaning this fall. As we roll into September, kids are trading classrooms for Zoom calls, the cafeteria for the kitchen table, and the playground for the backyard. This unprecedented situation presents new challenges for students and parents, but Radio Flyer is here to help maintain one schooltime classic: recess. Even with school happening virtually, children still need recess to take a mental break, to expend energy, to enjoy a constant in a time of uncertainty, and to simply be a kid and play. Check out our list of 9 at-home recess ideas that will help you host the greatest recess ever…right from home!


1. Recess Favorites

Enjoy your favorite playground games right from home with our outdoor game guide. With instructions to 8 classic outdoor games like hopscotch, four square, and HORSE, this printable booklet will keep your kids entertained with new games for weeks. As a bonus activity, your child can color the pages of the game guide to make it their very own!


2. Bean Bag Bucket Toss

Turn recess into the carnival with this classic tossing game. Set up buckets one after the other in the yard or the driveway (fun fact: you can use your Radio Flyer wagon as a "bucket" too!). Have your kids try to toss bean bags into each bucket starting from closest to farthest. Who can score in all of the buckets in the least amount of tosses?

To enhance the carnival ambience, parents can assign points to each bucket, and as kids earn points from their tosses, they can trade them in for prizes. Whether they’re playing for a fun snack or 15 extra minutes of reading time before bed, kids will definitely have something to look forward to after school!


3. Mini Golf Madness

Did you know you can have your very own golf getaway in the middle of the school day? No course needed – you can make your own right in the backyard! All you will need are a couple of golf balls, a few plastic cups for holes, and golf clubs (or get creative and use a roll of wrapping paper or a toy baseball bat if needed). Add obstacles as you see fit. Off the deck? From the sandbox? Through the bushes? Setting up the course might be just as fun as putting! Older kids will have a blast with both, and they’ll definitely want to share this one with their friends when they are back online.


4. Little Red Recess Racers

All it takes is some chalk and your favorite set of Radio Flyer wheels to turn your driveway into a racetrack. Draw a pathway using chalk and then ride your scooter, pedal your tricycle, or scoot with your ride-on around your DIY track. Kids can make a new pattern each day to keep their racing skills top-notch.

5. Classic Catch

Catch is a comforting & classic game that makes for a perfect midday break. You can use a frisbee, a football, a beach ball, a baseball – whatever is your family favorite! Add a little variety to the game by seeing how many throws you can complete in a row without dropping the object or by taking a step backwards with each catch.


6. Tail Tag

Younger school kids will love this version of tag. First, have each little one choose their favorite animal. Then, make sure everyone has a “tail” – this can be a flag football belt or a tube sock tucked into the waistband. When play begins, each child should enact their animal (run like a tiger, fly like a bird, etc.) and try to pull other players’ tails while protecting their own. Last one left wins! This game is perfect for expending energy and using your imagination.


7. Freeze Dance Frenzy

Get your favorite summer jams playing outside and have a game of freeze dance. When the music is paused, anyone that is still busting a move is out. Last person left wins! To keep this recess game fun and fresh, try playing a different genre of music or having a different theme each time you play.


8. Tricky Target Throw

Accuracy is key in this simple but fun outdoor game. Set up multiple “targets” around the yard – these can be hula hoops set up in the grass and empty cans or bottles positioned to be knocked over. Have kids try to throw a football (or another type of ball) into the hula hoops or at a can or bottle to try and knock it over. You can set up as many targets as you want.

For older kids that want more of a challenge, vary the distances and designate different point values for each depending on difficulty. Maybe landing in a big hula hoop close by is worth 1 point but knocking over the can on the other side of the yard is worth 10! Or, you can set a timer and see how long it takes to hit all targets. Kids can try to beat their top scores all week long, and this game can feel like new every time by adding new targets and point values.


9. Super Scavenger Hunt

During recess time, little ones transform from star students to eager explorers on the lookout for outdoor treasures. Create your own scavenger hunt tailored to your neighborhood or backyard, or you can use our printable scavenger hunt to get your adventure started.

How is your family enjoying #RecessAtHome this fall? Tag us in your photos with #RadioFlyer and be sure to follow us on Instagram for more ideas!