Recess Ideas For The Special Needs Children

17th February 2022

As a Special Education Teacher, recess time can be a challenge to keep special needs learners entertained and occupied. Recess time is majorly beneficial for children's well-being and improves motivation to focus and their ability to learn what comes after recess.

It helps the teacher to optimize the learner's social, emotional, physical as well as cognitive development. Supporting Children with Special Needs during recess time needs to have a structured approach. Special Ed. teachers often struggles (especially students with autism) to assist learners to join in a group or peer activities.

With the support and proper structures, your students can enjoy more of their time at recess. As peer interactions during recess can add value to the classroom activities, skill development such as communication, cooperation, sharing, problem-solving, patience, and coping can be complemented with recess time in developing a healthy foundation for their school experience. And since free time is not an option for special needs children, even when outdoor activities cannot be done because of the bad weather or any other reasons, it’s always good to have some backup plan for recess activity that can be done indoors.

5 Easy Accessible Recess Activities For Your Special Ed Classroom –

Dance Party

Dancing is a form of free flow activity that does not require many tools. You can put on some music and let your children work out the wiggles. If your students enjoy dancing you can easily incorporate music during recess time. Dancing with music is generally good for short bursts, for not more than 5 or 6 minutes. After that, you can move on to a calmer activity after the dance to make an easy transition from indoor recess to a lesson easier.

Puppet Show

The puppet show is a good way to include storytelling during recess activity. This is comparatively a calmer activity where you can ask learners to sit and enjoy the show. Puppet shows can be done after a lesson that took your learners to do some physical or movement activity. To make it inclusive, students can also take turns participating in the puppet show. And also watch peer performance. To make it easy and relate choose basic and familiar stories that your learners are already acquainted with.


This is a classic game for Special Ed. students. Hopscotch is fun, entertaining and can be done indoors. Create a hopscotch pattern on the floor with masking tape, you can also use a hopscotch mat if you have it. This type of activity can help learners to develop body control, manage body rhythm, also build body strength, eye/hand coordination, and more.

Balloon Volleyball

For this, all you need is to have a few balloons handy. This can be played by grouping learners into at least two teams. You can split the team and ask them to stand in front with a gap or out a desk in between to split the room in two. If you think your learners may get out of control while playing this game standing, they can do it while sitting too. this is a very fun and active game for special Ed. learners.


Pictionary is an easy indoor recess game and can be done with the entire class at once. You don't need to prep for playing Pictionary. This can also be done group-wise by splitting the class into 2-3 groups. Students can use whitebeard and the groups that compete fastest or earn the most points with their guesses wins. Just know there will be a lot of laughter in the class.

Takeaway for Special Ed Teachers

It is important for special needs children to experience structured recess time together where they can have fun being engaged at the same time. Recess time can also be used as an opportunity for focusing on their developing skills subtlety.

The best thing that you can do is prepare with some easy classic activities that need fewer supplies and can be done indoors too during recess time.  For Supporting Children with Special Needs, there are certain activities that work particularly well to keep them engaged, focused, and actively learning. With Special Education Courses you can easily adapt to sudden changes by keeping these easy Special Education recess activities for your classroom.

Written By : Neha Sharma

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