Recess is many children’s favorite part of school, which means that improving inclusion for all students is one of the best things to do. Many children can grow anxious and nervous when recess rolls around if they feel like they can’t connect and enjoy the fun space as much as others. It’s our job as adults to help children feel valued in various aspects of life, which is why we delve into how to increase inclusion at recess.
Play Inclusive Games
If you want to have the kids play a game for recess, then you need to ensure those games can include everyone. Nothing should be too complex, or too competitive, as that will leave students feeling unable to participate, and they may even shut down. Pick ones the children know, and make sure everyone can join in. Many children struggle with entry behaviors, so they miss out on fun play. Make it obvious where lines start, and have a parent or teacher around the game to make sure everyone plays fairly.
If you want to try out a new game, we suggest games that lessen competition. One of our favorites is Sprout Tag. In this game, everyone is “it”, so no one should feel left out or embarrassed. If a child gets tagged, they take a knee and continue to watch the person who tagged them. Once that person is tagged, the child who was first tagged gets to sprout back up and continue the chase.
One of the biggest tips we can provide on how to improve inclusion at recess relies on creating a fully accessible playground. There are a few different things you should consider when it comes to your playground’s design. We list those below:
Wheelchair accessibility in playgrounds is just as important as having safety signs up. If you don’t have handicap equipment at your playground, then that’s far from an accessible recess experience. Make sure to have equipment like a wheelchair accessible Merry Go Round and Platform Swings. Including things like this will allow everyone to have fun at recess. Check out more of our ADA Products!
Another very important aspect to have for an inclusive recess deals with expanding and renovating your playground to have more sensory elements. Just like how wheelchair accessible playgrounds allow for children in wheelchairs to feel included at recess, sensory playgrounds allow children with Autism or Sensory Integration Disorders to feel included. This means you should have a relaxed area for those who get overwhelmed, auditory playground equipment for those who like to explore sound, textured surfaces for those who need some tactile play, and visual playground elements. Including a space for those who need a sensory experience can truly improve inclusion in your school.
Create a Buddy System
Finally, our last tip on how to increase inclusion at recess, has to deal with making sure no one is alone at recess. More often than not, you can see a school struggles with inclusion at recess when students play by themselves. While some students don’t need to be occupied by others, the sooner you create an atmosphere of inclusion and friendship at the school, the happier students will become. You can try to create a buddy system for recess to encourage this. Make sure no student is left alone without someone to play with at recess. If you notice budding friendships, do your best to nurture those—you’ll notice a significant shift in the attitude and personality of the students.
If you need help creating a more inclusive playground, turn to Discount Playground Supply. We want your students to feel as comfortable as possible. Take a look at our products—from commercial playsets to sandboxes—now!