Inclusive Ways to get Everyone Moving at Recess!

Spring has sprung! With the weather getting nicer, it’s time to get the kids outside and make the most of their RECESS time.

The reality is, kids spend most of the springtime in school waiting for summer vacation to begin. With the nicer weather they will hopefully be getting outdoors more often and recess will not be spent indoors getting cabin fever. We want to help you make the most of recess for your students.

When most of us think of recess, we think of kids running around the schoolyard, laughing and engaging with their classmates. For many kids, recess is the best part of their day. For others, who aren’t socially inclined, recess can be overwhelming and isolating.

Often, kids will separate themselves into groups – some will race to the soccer field to kick a ball around or play a game of football or kickball, while some gravitate towards the slide and monkey bars at the play structure. But there are many kids who find the recess bell a stressful moment of deciding what to do and where to position themselves.

This moment is where a teacher, volunteer, or recess monitor can step in and encourage a game that all kids can play regardless of athletic skill. BOKS has a treasure trove of these games available in our lesson plan and BOKS Burst documents, that you can find in your Trainer Hub.

While games that can include everyone are very engaging, sometimes recess is a time where kids just need a little help with ideas of activities for them to do on their own. A portable whiteboard (even a foam board) with a list of fun activities can help spur kids’ imaginations. Sometimes all they need is a little nudge to help them create their perfect game with friends. The list can be as simple as creating a fun obstacle course over and around the play structures, to a made-up game with hula hoops and cones. Giving kids different options at recess can make it more enjoyable (and less of a source of stress) for a child.

Do you have anything unique your students or children like to do at recess? We love hearing about your favourite activities! Share your ideas in our Facebook community telling us all about their fav recess games!

Here is an always popular game with our BOKS kids…

Toilet Tag

When playing toilet tag, or any tagging game for that matter, there are two big things to keep in mind when monitoring the game. First, it’s important to define the playing space with some sort of marker, like cones, so the kids understand the boundaries of the play area.

Second, make sure the kids are all on the same page about how to tag each other! BOKS guidelines suggest the “two-finger” tag, always around the shoulder area. This minimizes the chances of anyone getting hurt!

For Toilet Tag, have 3-5 kids be the taggers (depending on the size of the group), and the rest as the players. When a kid gets tagged, they go into a squatting position and raise one arm up in the air to resemble a toilet with a lever.

The rest of the group that has yet to be tagged can run to the kids that are in the “toilet” position and “un-tag” them to get back in the game by “flushing” their toilets. This is a simple and engaging game that all ages can enjoy and participate in.

Format: 3 – 5 taggers

Materials: Pinnies for taggers and cones to mark the play area

Set Up: Kids spread out across the marked area of play

Object: Don’t get tagged, flush team mates to free them


  1. Choose a few kids to be the “taggers” and have them wear a pinnie.
  2. Kids run around the area of play trying not to be tagged.
  3. When tagged, squat down like on the toilet with 1 arm up.
  4. When a kid on same team “flushes” (pushes the arm down), the kid is back in the game.
  5. Alternate taggers every 2 minutes.
  6. Keep playing until time runs out, approximately 5 – 10 minutes.
  7. Have kids make a flushing sound when their arm is pushed, if desired.

Have fun!