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Recess and Teacher PE



Senior Member
Tomorrow is the first day for students. This year we are allowed to have recess. It is only 20 minutes. 3 classes will be outside at one time; however, the "cohorts" have to be kept separated. One class on the playground equipment/swings, one class on one section of the blacktop and the third class on the other half of the blacktop. The students must wear masks in the building, but will be allowed to remove it once outside.

I need some ideas for some fun blacktop activities that students can do socially distanced. Each student has a bag with sidewalk chalk, but that isn't going to be fun to do all the time.

I am not sure what to do with their masks-except put in ziploc bag with their name. I don't want to stand around holding the bags.

I will also be able to do teacher PE for 30 miinutes, but again, other classes will be outside. We have to keep socially distanced. Looking for some fun activities we can do for PE.



Senior Member
Wow - we were able to do recess last year in cohorts but the kids could play together. Who in their right mind thinks they will stay distanced?!

For the blacktops, maybe hula hoops, bubbles (can a parent donate some big things of bubbles and you could refill small ones?), jump ropes, individual balls (are they allowed to play catch or anything like that?), can someone donate a basketball hoop? You could also bring out buckets and let them have some water play.

As for masks, I would take clothespins out with you and have them pin it to their shirt.

PE - again, are they allowed to share a ball? If so, you could do a lot of catch/throw/pass games. Freeze games, working on hopping/skipping/galloping, a modified four corners type game (maybe mark where they stand). Last year we also did things like jumping syllables, counting around the circle, throwing yard dice and hopping how many, etc.


Senior Member
I have taken jumpropes out of the mix. I will add them in mid-year for something new. They are a nightmare.

The challk and bubbles is a good idea. Kids like it when you can play with them. Maybe a matchbox car or crafty art projects? A small notebook and some crayons?

If there are trees around my kids love to make fairy houses and camp fires.

Can you bring out a small box with some slinkies or something that can be sprayed down after recess?

It may not be the most sanitary, but I say let those masks air out! Have the kids wear them on their necks or put them on their wrists. I figure it is like drying laundry and better than zipping all the germs in a ziplock bag.

We have some protocols in place and have had zero kindergarten cases that started or spread at school. Your protocols sound very strict. Good luck!


Senior Member
Thank you for all your suggestions. It has been a nightmare. Interest in the sidewalk chalk lasted at the most-5 minutes. Trying to keep kids from one class from playing with another class is extremely difficult-especially for the two classes that have to share the blacktop. We've had meltdowns and kids who try to sneak over to the playground equipment when it is not their classes turn to be on it.

Our principal had a family emergency and has not been in school. Teachers decided there was no way we could survive the week without having some playground balls and other stuff. They canat least kick the balls. We were able to get some from the PE teacher. I brought out some hula hoops, bean bags and large foam counters from my ten frame to use as targets. I had a few small traffic cones at home and brought those in. They don't want us to use bubbles-the kids "blowing" and congregating too close together to chase the bubbles.

We've been trying for several years to get a sensory path painted on the sidewalk-even purchased the paint, but it never happened. We are going to push for that again.

When they redid our blacktop, they had to draw lines for parking spaces for the type of funding they used to pay for it so we don't have things like hopscotch, four square or even our map of the United States anymore. We are not allowed to repaint those on the blacktop either.

We have them pull their masks down under their chin. So far, that is working.

Are your playground balls and other equipment sanitized after each class uses them?