Top Outdoor Recess Games

An image showing two children playing outside.

Kids today are rarely lacking for entertainment options. With many homes having a TV in nearly every room, and the internet just a click or tap away, it’s not hard to find something to do. Yet, some of the most rewarding and engaging experiences tend to be the traditional ones, like playing outside with friends. Recess is a great time for kids to expend their energy and create memories with classmates. Encourage them to try out the below top outdoor recess games. These are time-tested classics they’re sure to love!


We might as well start off with one of the most-popular recess games of all-time. “Tag” is an extremely simple game that requires no equipment whatsoever. To get started, the kids will decide who is “it,” and everyone else will run away and attempt to avoid that person. Once the “it” person touches another player, the player that was touched becomes “it,” and the game continues. There is no keeping score or any complex rules to worry about—it’s just a fun way for kids to run around and enjoy time outside.

Hide and Seek

Another traditional playground game that certainly can’t be left out is hide and seek. This is another simple game that doesn’t require any equipment, although it is best played somewhere with at least a few good hiding spots available. The “seeker” will turn around or close his/her eyes for a short period of time while the others run and hide. Then, it will be their job to find everyone else. The last person left hidden will be declared the winner, and the game can start over with a new seeker.

Jump Rope

There is a piece of equipment required here–the rope, of course–but jump rope provides great exercise and helps children work on balance and coordination. For kids who like to be competitive with their friends, it’s easy to create other games with the rope, such as challenging friends to perform the most jumps in a row without getting caught on the rope.


Some school playgrounds will have one or two hopscotch grids painted on the pavement. If not, it’s possible for kids to create their own grid with sidewalk chalk. Once a grid is in place, children can take turns hopping through it. However, there are a number of ways to play games with a hopscotch grid. One of the most popular is placing a small rock in one of the squares and trying to pick it up along the way.

Capture the Flag

This is a good game for a relatively large group of kids. The players are divided into two teams, and each team has their own territory to defend. Within that territory will be a “flag,” which can really be any small/light object. The goal is to steal the other team’s flag without being tagged while in their territory. Rules vary, but those tagged within the other team’s territory are usually out of the game or either placed in “jail” until they are freed by a teammate.

Enhance Recess with the Right Equipment

Top Outdoor Recess Games

Kids love to play outside, and for many, recess is the highlight of the school day. Make it even more enjoyable by introducing them to these top outdoor recess games and installing fantastic playground equipment. To order great pieces of equipment at competitive prices, contact American Swing right away. We are excited to serve you!

Shop Now