Last week, we posted an example of how you could potentially lay out an outdoor recess space. We ordered our playground space into specific “recess zones,” which catered to specific aspects of play like sports, relaxation and conflict resolution. This week, we’re doing something similar, only now we’ll be using our popular Roll-Out Games To-Go, portable versions of some of our outdoor recess stencils, instead. Our Roll-Out Games can be placed anywhere that indoor recess takes place, like the classroom or hallway, and can be rolled up and stored for long-term use—hence the “roll-out” part.
For our layout this week, we’ll be using a gym as our hypothetical recess space. Gyms offer big, open spaces with a lot of room to maneuver, so they’re ideal places for indoor recess. We will also be breaking the space into “recess zones” in a similar style to last week’s post.
So, without further adieu…
FITNESS & SKILLS ZONE
Like our outdoor recess space, the Fitness & Skills Zone should be placed closest to the doors of the gym where students enter from. Placing this zone closest to the doors encourages kids to move straight into physical exercise, which boosts memory and school performance across all age groups. We’ve got the perfect recess games for the job: Roll-Out Essential Burpees, Roll-Out Essential Jumping Jacks, and Roll-Out Essential Lunges. Burpees, jumping jacks and lunges are excellent choices for endurance exercise—exercise that gets the heart pumping—and can be a great warm-up before strength exercises, which we’ll include in this zone as well.
Arrange the burpees, jumping jacks and lunges in a straight line facing into the gym from the door, with jumping jacks coming first, burpees second, lunges third. After the lunges, lay out the strength exercises: Planks, Push-Ups, Sit-Ups, and Squats. These exercises are best arranged in a circle, or in loose, but evenly-spaced, lines. Add another set of the four strength exercises (for a total of eight (8)) to maximize the effect, and to ensure as many students can participate in the exercises as possible. Make sure to have the kids start with the endurance exercises from the door and work their way into the strength exercises to prevent injury!
Alternatively, if you’d prefer your students to have more endurance exercises than strength games, you can swap the four for our Roll-Out Daisy Hopscotch, Roll-Out Skyscraper Hopscotch, and Roll-Out Modern Hopscotch. These hopscotches are just like our outdoor versions, only in roll-out form. Arrange the hopscotches right next to one another. Make sure to situate them horizontally to the line of Roll-Out Essential endurance exercises.
Space for indoor recess is limited, even in a large gym. Because of this restricted space, sports games are fairly limited in an enclosed environment. For example, unless one half of the entire gym is set aside for a single recess game like soccer or kickball, there won’t be enough room to play. Especially among older kids (4th-5th graders and beyond), space becomes an issue as they grow bigger and stronger.
That’s why you should be sure to situate your Sports Zone next to or around a basketball hoop, since most gyms have at least two hoops. Next to the hoops, maybe on the out-of-bounds lines or at half-court, place two or three of our Roll-Out Four Square sets. Four Square is an excellent game for the indoor Sports Zone, particularly in small gyms, hallways, and classrooms.
The indoor Relaxation Zone should be situated away from the noisy Sports Zone, ideally somewhere near the back of the gymnasium. This space is usually farthest away from the doors of the gym but can vary depending on gym size and shape. Admittedly, a good, quiet Relaxation Zone is difficult to get in an indoor gym setting—that’s why it might be a good idea to allow the kids who want a “quiet recess” a separate room (like the classroom) to take their break in. If not, this Relaxation Zone is for you.
Taking into account the noise, quiet games like yoga poses probably aren’t best. However, placing a three (3) or so Roll-Out Chess and Checkerboard games around a centered Roll-Out Bullseye is both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Kids can choose to play fun, brain-oriented games like chess and checkers that stimulate critical and forward-thinking skills or improve their hand-eye coordination with the bullseye. Be sure to keep a few bean bags around for the bullseye, or get a set of our rubber Game Discs for a level of added safety.
Indoor recess needn’t be boring. A well-designed indoor recess space, like the one above, is just a sample to get you started. There are many, many unique and colorful ways you can organize your indoor recessed space to make it interesting for the kids. Get creative! Be sure to move zones around and mix/match new games to keep your kids engaged if you live in a place where the weather can change with a snap.