Recess Around the World

Worldwide Recess Day is one week away! To motivate you to #TAKE10 we’re sharing recess games from around the globe.

2 or more players. You’ll just need chalk!

A spin off the standard hopscotch, escargot is a French playground game. Draw an escargot (snail) in the shape of a spiral with squares numbered 1-21. Hop on one foot on each numbered square. When you reach the center, turn around and go back! Once you’ve made it back, choose a square and write your initials in it. The next players will have to skip over your square each time they pass. Each time you go back and forth through the spiral, add your initials to a new square. Be careful not to step on any lines or use both feet to hop! When no one can reach the center or when all the squares are marked, the game is over. The player with the most squares in the winner. Bonne chance!

5 or more players. Find a field or any open space!

Originally from Britain and similar to the American Red Rover, British Bulldogs, (also known as Octopus, Bullrush, Pom-Pom Pullaway and Running Bases), gets your heart racing and can get competitive fast. Choose one or two players to be the “bulldog”. The dogs stand in the center of the field, while the rest of the players stand in line on one end. The goal of the game is to cross the field without getting tagged by the bulldogs. If you’re tagged, you become a bulldog. The winner is the last remaining player to cross without getting tagged. Have fun!

2 or more players. One small ball, 8 larger balls of two different colors (about the size of an orange). Play inside or outside!

Most commonly known as bocce (but also as pétanque, botchas, and bolas criollas) this game has its roots in ancient Rome. Can’t find a bocce court in your neighborhood?  Improvise! This game can be played indoors or outdoors. Find a long narrow space (like an office hallway) and divide the players into two teams. One team tosses the pallino (small ball) down the court. Each team has four chances to get as close to the pallino as possible. The team with the closest ball gets a point and tosses the pallino for the next round. Play until either team reaches 16 points. Buona fortuna!

2 to 4 players. Wooden paddles and one tennis ball. Play indoors or outdoors.

Often played on the sandy white beaches of the Mediterranean, this simple Greek game takes a surprising amount of concentration. Find a partner (or play doubles) and stand about 10 feet away from each other. Hit the tennis ball back and forth as many times as possible without dropping the ball. Kalí tíhi!

10 or more players.  Find a large outdoor space!

Based on a classic Dutch fairytale, windmolen combines Simon Says, tag, and capture the flag. Draw two parallel lines at least 15 feet apart and between the lines draw a square in the middle to represent the canal. Choose one player to be the berger and then divide the remaining players into two teams. From each team, select a “stork” or team captain. The storks imitate a windmill by moving their hands back and forth over their heads, while their teammates mimic their actions. The berger then walks back and forth and tries to catch any player who is not following their storks’ moves. When the berger sees a player not following the actions of the leader, she shouts “Windmill!” and tags that player. The player races to the canal for safety but if the berger tags the player, she has to stay in the canal. If she makes it there safely, she returns to the line. If all the players end up in the canal, the berger yells, “Windmill!” and the first player to catch her becomes the berger for the next round. Succes!

What other games will you be playing for Worldwide Recess Day? On September 14th, snap a photo of your recess break, upload it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and tag it with #TAKE10. We’ll announce one winner every hour, along with a grand prize winner.