The Most Popular School Playground Games

Children play many classic outdoor games on school playgrounds, many of which have been played for generations, and some are new for this generation of youngsters. Kids love playing, whether it’s during recess, after school, on the weekend or all summer long.

There are some games kids often play on playground equipment, whether it’s making believe they’re in a castle or mountain climbing. Kids have such active imaginations, though, that they can play games even when there’s nothing but asphalt, blacktop or a sidewalk to play on.

Academic studies are certainly important, but playing games at school is just as helpful for growth and learning. Games help kids stay in shape, develop their creative abilities and build social skills — what could be better?

Top Games To Play On A School Playground For Kids in the United States

It would be impossible to list all the different types of children’s playground games, especially when you consider all the children’s games worldwide. The following list, however, includes many simple and classic outdoor playground games that children have played in schoolyards for generations:

Young girl playing dodgeball

1. Dodge Ball

Dodge Ball is a great game to get students active. Two evenly-numbered teams line up their dodgeballs in the middle of a court and retreat to each end. On the signal, they rush to the center to grab a ball and throw it at opposing players, eliminating them from the game. The team that eliminates all players from the other team wins the game.

2. Double Dutch

A popular jump rope game, double dutch requires at least three people. Two players swing jump ropes in opposite directions, while the third player jumps between them without disrupting them. Players often chant or sing a rhyme to help time the jumps. This is a great game to teach kids to coordinate with others.

3. Heads Up Seven Up

Heads Up Seven Up is a classic classroom game in which seven “choosers” make their way around a group of players who have their heads down and one thumb raised. Each chooser taps one thumb, and the players try to guess who touched their thumb. If they guess correctly, they swap places with their chooser.

4. Hopscotch

An excellent way for children to improve their balance and hand-eye coordination, hopscotch involves a series of numbered squares drawn in a grid on the pavement. Children must throw an object into one of the squares and retrieve it using a sequence of hops without touching the lines.

5. I Spy

One player chooses an object and says, “I spy with my little eye,” giving a description of the item like its color. Players take turns guessing what the item is. Use this game to help students develop their investigative skills.

6. Jacks

Jack Playground Game

Another great game to play on the playground is jacks. Players need jacks and a small rubber ball for jacks. Players bounce the ball on the ground and catch a set number of jacks in the opposite hand, progressing until they make a mistake, at which point their opponent takes a turn. The first player to progress through the series of throws and catches wins.

7. Jump Rope

A good game for a single child or a team, jump rope has nearly endless variations. Players swing and jump over a rope, seeing how many jumps they can make without touching it.

8. Kickball

Kickball is one of the most popular outdoor games for kids. The game is similar to baseball, except players kick a dodge ball instead of swinging a bat.

9. Red Rover

Two teams line up and link arms to form a chain. Players take turns calling over a player from the other group using the “Red Rover” chant. That player must break the chain or join the team.

10. Mother, May I

The player designated as Mother stands with their back to the rest, who request to take various movements, like two crabwalk steps or five hops, toward Mother. Mother grants them permission, or not, until they are tagged.

11. Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light is a great way to teach students about following directions. One player is “it” and faces away from the rest of the players lined up several yards down the field. When the player who is “it” shouts “green light,” the others move toward them and try to tag them. However, the player who is “it” can also yell “red light” when they turn toward the other players. If they catch another player moving on a “red light,” the player is eliminated.

The Benefits of Kids Games

With childhood obesity rising in America, active games are particularly important for kids to play. Activities that utilize playground equipment, jump ropes or other body movements help get kids moving. When kids are inactive during their recesses at school and spend their free time at home playing video games and watching TV instead of going outside, they are developing behaviors that could hold them back for the rest of their lives.

Games that rely on children’s brains and encourage teamwork are equally beneficial because they help to strengthen mental and social skills that will come in handy as they enter middle school, high school, college and the job market. The games that kids play on the school and park playground offer many benefits, whether they’re creative games that use their imagination or active games that work out their body. Children should be encouraged to play these simple playground games as much as possible.

Shop Playground Equipment From Miracle Recreation

Shop Playground Equipment From Miracle Recreation

Playground games are a vital part of a child’s development, and as a bonus, they’re fun! With a list of entertaining indoor or outdoor games for kids, you can help them grow in important ways.

Here at Miracle Recreation Equipment Company, we bring wonder into playground spaces. We provide exciting equipment options designed to thrill children of all ages while helping to keep them safe. Browse our inventory of Miracle Recreation Playgrounds today!