Children's Recess Games

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    Steal the Flag

    • Children divide into two teams, each with its own colored flag. The goal is to steal the flag of the opposing team. Players prevent flag theft by tagging opponents who dare to enter their kingdom. Offenders caught inside the opponent’s boundaries immediately head to jail. If the tagger fails to escort his prisoner to jail, the prisoner shall go free. Once the flag is captured, the captor must take it to his base line for the win.

    No Bears Are Out Tonight

    • No Bears Are Out Tonight requires five or more players. One person becomes the bear and establishes a base. The bear hides, while the other players count to twelve o’clock, beginning with “One O’clock Rock, Two O’clock Rock," and so on. When midnight arrives, all players roam the area chanting, “No bears are out tonight. Daddy shot them all last night.” Children take turns being the bear.

    Shark Attack

    • Shark Attack allows one child to portray a shark and the remaining children act as fish. With the shark’s back turned, the fish run to the opposite end of the play area. The shark completes this sentence with her own action verb, “Fish, fish, _______ in my ocean.” The fish approach the shark using the requested movement until the shark yells, “Shark attack!” The fish attempt to return to their starting line as the shark catches as may fish as possible. Once a fish is caught, he becomes another shark. Play continues until one fish remains.

    Four Square

    • Four square is played on a square court with four players and a rubber ball. Players bounce the ball from square to square trying to eliminate players in higher numbered squares. Players are eradicated when they allow more than one bounce in their square. The ultimate goal is to make it to the “four square” and score the most points.


    • Children sit in a circle and choose someone to sit in the center. This child is “it.” Play begins with children taking turns asking “it” questions–the sillier the better. The only valid answer “it” may provide to each question is “tomato.” The first person to make “it” laugh wins a chance in the center.

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