5 Keys to Organize a School Recess

In addition to free play, recess time can be useful for many more fun activities that allow children to learn while they enjoy themselves. Learn how to organize a school recess.
5 Keys to Organize a School Recess
Pedro González Núñez

Written and verified by the child educator Pedro González Núñez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Recess is an essential part of the child’s school day. If you want to organize a school recess, you can do much more than just keep children under control while they play, run, or jump. There are many interesting options to make the playground more dynamic.

By making a playground more dynamic, you can obtain very interesting benefits for little ones. For example, a better coexistence among schoolchildren, a greater capacity for conflict resolution, or greater participation of boys and girls in sports and physical activities.

However, this doesn’t mean that free play, which is equally important for children, has no place. But it does have an impact on a better organization of recess time to make school life more productive, interesting, and fun for the children as well as for the teachers.

What can you do to organize a school recess in a different kind of way?

A child playing hopscotch during recess.

There are various pedagogical proposals that encourage the use of recess as an educational space. Thus, taking advantage of children’s imagination and free play, it’s also possible to activate the realization of tasks and activities that promote values in children. Here are some ideas.

“A man’s bookshelf is also his portrait, and so fine that neither the most accurate brushes nor the most penetrating and faithful pen of the best biographer can match it. The books that each one chooses for his recreation, for his instruction, even for his vanity, are true fingerprints of the spirit, which allow his exact identification.”

-Gregorio Marañón

Play workshops

Children love to play. In fact, playing is a basic part of children’s learning. So why not take advantage of recess time to create a variety of workshops that are beneficial and fun?

An interesting idea, for example, could be to bring back some traditional games from previous generations. For example, hopscotch, hopscotch, marbles, tag, sardines…

With these games, children internalize the value of teamwork, for example. At the same time, you transmit ancient cultural values to them, which takes them out of the technological environment in which they spend so many hours of the day.

In addition, recess time can be used to bring children closer to other cultures through games from other countries. Teachers can add this integrative element by enlisting the help of foreign students who may be in the school or by researching popular games from other nations. This will give the children important cultural enrichment and a different and more cosmopolitan view of the world around them.

Learning through decoration

We can offer children decorative elements that they can also use. How’s this done? By incorporating geometric shapes, compasses, clocks, toy letters, etc.

In this way, the student not only has fun and plays, but also reinforces the knowledge obtained in class, experiments beyond the books, and enhances their imagination and their ability to adapt what they’ve learned to real life.


Micro-workshops can be very diverse and quite fun. Some of the most interesting ones are related to the media. Children can design their own newspapers, radio stations, etc.

This option allows exploring many possibilities. There can be theater workshops, film workshops, gardening workshops, even magic workshops. The purpose is for the little ones to explore their tastes and hobbies and get to know fields that may be interesting for them.

A diverse group of children sitting on playground equipment.

Redecorating common areas

Another good option for enjoying a different kind of recess is to redecorate common areas. You can redecorate the playground area with paintings, graffiti, or even murals. In this way, you renew the air in the school and the children get organized, boost their creativity, and work as a team.

Sports and physical activities at school recess time

Western children show an increasing tendency toward obesity. Therefore, it’s important to take advantage of any time to get them to exercise. For this reason, you can organize times to play soccer or basketball and other sports, run races, or play games that involve physical exercise, etc.

In short, we hope that these five tips to organize a school recess will be useful for you to ensure that little ones have a great time while they learn. However, don’t forget that free play’s also important; the basis always lies in a wise combination of elements.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Arnal, J., Del Rincón, D., Latorre, A., (1992). Investigación educativa. Fundamentos y metodologías. Barcelona: LABOR.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.