4 Tips for Managing Recess Equipment [Interactive]

92 Managing Recess Equipment

In this Physical Education podcast, Lynn Burrows discusses 4 tips for managing recess equipment.

[00:02]: Today on the PE Express podcast, I will share my practice of managing recess equipment.

[00:24]: Hello everyone and welcome to the PE podcast. I am your host today, Lynn burrows and today I want to share four tips to managing recess equipment. Many of us as PE teachers share some responsibility regarding recess. At past schools, I have been the primary recess supervisor and in my school today I am responsible for playground equipment, although I’m not outside with the students at recess, I’m responsible for the recess equipment. Over the course of a few years, I’ve developed a few tips to managing the equipment.

Tip #1: Use Multiple Carts for Grade Levels

[00:54]: Tip #1: We use recess carts for the different grade levels. At my school, the kindergarten and first graders share a recess cart. The second and third graders share a recess cart and the fourth and fifth graders share a recess cart because they each have recess together. We use the Magnus Kid Cart Storage Carts sold by Gopher with all-terrain wheels. Each cart is filled with equipment that is age appropriate for the grades it serves. For example, our kindergarten and first grade cart has dump trucks, shovels, pales, and larger balls. Our fourth and fifth grade cart has cones, flag belts, a wide variety of balls because our older students are more inclined to play some kind of organized game, whereas our younger students play more independently.

Tip #2: Label the Carts

[01:37]: Tip #2: We labeled the carts. Our equipment cards hold laundry baskets and on each laundry basket is a photo of the equipment and the inventory list. One side of the laundry basket labels what cart the laundry basket goes on and the other side of the laundry basket has a laminated photo of what goes in it with the list. So it might say four cord jump rope, six skip-it’s, four long-beaded ropes, et cetera.

Tip #3 Assign Responsibility

[02:01]: Tip #3: Assign the responsibility of the carts to the older students. So students who are in fourth and fifth grade at my school are at the top and they share the responsibility of the recess cart. Our fourth and fifth grade classrooms already have classroom responsibilities assigned to them each week. The classroom teachers were willing to add the job of recess cart to their list of classroom jobs and these students switched the carts out at recess and after recess they re-sort the equipment into the corresponding baskets. If there’s equipment missing or damaged, they keep track and once a season, we re-stock.

Tip #4 Keep Equipment Novel

[02:36]: Tip #4: Keep the equipment novel. Here in Colorado we have lots of snow starting in November, so at Thanksgiving we switched the recess carts from summer equipment to winter equipment. That includes adding snow shovels, cross country skis and sleds. Your school might not have enough snow to add these same pieces of equipment, but consider switching some of the equipment out for different seasons. Encouraging students to be active during recess time can be easier with organized novel, fun equipment. Research even tells us that having loose equipment increases the likelihood that students will be more physically active. However managing that equipment can prove to be challenging. If you haven’t tried recess carts, they might be just what your students need to take their physical activity to the next level.

Related Posts:
10 PE Equipment and Inventory Organization Tips by Jessica Shawley
Inventory Tips to Keep P.E. Equipment Organized by Aaron Beighle
Recess: Observations, Considerations, and Lessons Learned by Aaron Beighle

Related Equipment:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Resources


5 Ways Small Sided Games Make a BIG Impact

Author: Jessica Shawley

A Brand New Tool for PE You Didn’t Know You Needed!

Author: Brett Fuller

5 Skill-Based Floor Hockey Games

Author: Michael Beringer

16 Parachute Team Building Activities

Author: Tim Mueller

Motivating Unmotivated Students​

Author: Dr. Robert Pangrazi, Jessica Shawley, and Tim Mueller

Promoting Activity and Success Through Adapted PE

Author: Dr. Robert Pangrazi, Marci Pope and Maria Corte

Bin Ball

Author: Randy Spring



Sign up to receive the latest physical education resources, activities, and more from educational professionals like you straight to your inbox!