11 Ways Kids Can Still Have Recess at Home​

Ideas to keep them on their feet and active.

A Mother and Son Jump Roping in their Home

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It goes without saying that this school year has been challenging in many, many ways. If you’re feeling mentally and physically exhausted from trying to keep your classroom on track, you’re not alone. As you’ve probably noticed, it can be particularly difficult finding ways for your students to have recess at home. Fortunately, we’ve come up with a list of ideas to keep kids active while learning remotely.

1. Warm up

recess at home

A good warm up can prevent injuries and get the body ready for physical activity. You probably already know a few moves, but a helpful chart can provide step-by-step guidance and key points to focus on!

2. Try an at-home physical activity program

With activities designed for “me” (individual, child), “we” (partner-child and parent/sibling/family member), and “3” (small group=family members/friends) this program is a fantastic option for indoor and outdoor recess at home or in the classroom. Choose between the 1-Year Individual Subscription (at a 50% discount) and a 1-Year School License.

3. Roll the (fitness) dice

They say variety is the spice of life, which is why a set of fitness dice is perfect for recess at home. Kids can roll the dice and get a new activity every time, so that no recess is ever the same!

4. Do a jump rope challenge

Grab some jump ropes, host a jump rope challenge, and encourage students to master nine jump rope skills, ranging from basic to advanced. To move up to the next level, kids will have to complete each skill at least five times. Change things up with the Rainbow Whirlwind skipping game!

5. Have a dance party!

Sometimes, the best way to get things moving is by having a great dance party! You can search YouTube for videos, or you can ask kids to contribute to a class playlist. Then, pick one day of the week when everyone can let loose.

6. Find some balance

With kids spending so much time indoors during the pandemic, they may miss out on activities that build key muscle groups. Using simple but effective equipment, such as balance discs or The Spooner, can help keep their cores engaged and strong. 

7. Incorporate meditation

Being physically active is important for kids’ mental and physical health, but sometimes the mind and body need a break. Research has shown that kids who practice mindfulness meditation benefit from increased focus, self-control, and compassion, decreased stress and anxiety, and improved academic performance. Whether it’s five minutes or 15 minutes, this relaxing, guided activity is perfect for a restorative recess at home. 

8. Get stacked!

Cup stacking is a fun activity for kids of all ages. Younger students can start slowly while learning the technique and sequences. Advanced stackers can race to see who can complete the stacks fastest. Look for cups that are sturdy and durable for this at-home recess activity that boosts focus, agility, and dexterity! 

9. Go classic with an egg and spoon race

Encourage kids to improve balance, coordination, and critical-thinking skills with this activity that involves completing a race while holding an egg on a spoon. While you’ve likely played this before, but with real eggs, using wooden ones maintains the excitement, but with less mess! Have them race their siblings, maneuver around an obstacle course they build at home, or race for a pre-specified distance against their classmates! 

10. Get in on a juggling act

Aside from being fun, learning to juggle comes with a wealth of benefits. Not only does it build hand-eye coordination, but juggling also improves spatial awareness, reflexes, reaction time, and concentration! It might be easiest for kids to start with juggling scarves before moving up to cubes or beanballs

11. Practice yoga

Being hunched over a desk and/or computer all day can be rough on the body. Help kids counteract the impact of remote learning by incorporating yoga into recess at home. Have kids use a yoga mat, towel, or thin blanket for comfort as they work on yoga poses. They can implement a calendar of mindful poses like this one from SHAPE America or use guided sessions on YouTube channels such as Cosmic Kids Yoga.

Looking for exercise equipment for recess at home this year? Be sure to check out Gopher, the leader in quality physical education, athletics, and fitness equipment.

11 Ways Kids Can Still Have Recess at Home​

Posted by Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne is a mother of six (including toddler twins!), writer, homeschooler, and social sciences professor. She loves cooking, reading, and dancing in her kitchen.

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