6 Iconic Games We All Played At Recess That’ll Give You Instant Flashbacks
We can all agree being an adult sucks and that life was way cooler when we got 15 minutes each morning to play primary school games with our friends.
Recess was a treasured time for Aussie school kids — a sweet reprieve from maths and books when we could eat our morning snack and run wild around the playground with games like Handball and Stuck in the Mud.
Whether you’re a Tag pro or preferred the unfettered madness of something like Bull Rush, every Aussie kid had a game they lived to play.
Here are 6 primary school games all Aussies played at recess:
The OG primary school game for Aussie kids, what can we say about Handball that properly conveys how much we love this game? There’s something therapeutic about hitting a ball with your hand onto a concrete square over and over again. Handball is beautiful in its simplicity — but it could also turn fierce when your primary school nemesis stepped onto the court.
It seems like every school played Handball by its own rules (and don’t even get me started on the heathens who called it “downball”). Personally, my school played it 1 v 1 while a crowd of impatient kids gathered around and heckled the players. This may explain a lot about me — but now is not the time to dive into my childhood trauma.
#2. Stuck in the Mud
It was honestly a miracle to make it through an entire day without a kid being seriously injured playing Stuck in the Mud. On paper, it’s all innocent enough: try not to get tagged but if you do, stand in place with your legs spread and wait for a friend to crawl in between to free you.
But kids are idiots and don’t have depth perception (don’t question my science), so they’d end up flinging themselves towards people’s legs in desperate attempts to free them that often ended in collisions.
Despite that, Stuck in the Mud is a classic primary school game. Maybe kids like the risk, or maybe they just like running around at recess. Whomst can say?
Dodgeball is the holy grail of games for school kids, and it remains the holy grail of games for adults.
All anybody ever wants is a chance to pelt rubber balls at people to win a competition.
#4. What’s The Time, Mr Wolf?
Okay looking back, this game is a lot more terrifying than I remember it being. How did our precious lil’ primary school hearts cope with the suspense of inching closer and closer to Mr Wolf, or the sheer terror of the moment when Mr Wolf would scream “It’s dinner time!” and chase after us all?
Like I already said, kids are idiots, so we played this torturous hell game every chance we got.
Tag was really just Stuck in the Mud without the risk of having a kid accidentally take out your kneecaps.
It is a literally perfect game and has everything you need for recess:
1) a huge group can play at the same time, so no one spends their break waiting for a chance to play that never comes. This also avoids the far-reaching consequences that come from pitting two kids against each other, a la Handball. 2) The only rule is to run around constantly. Even if you get tagged, you run. This spent a lot of built-up energy and 3) made sitting through the next few hours of class bearable. And 4) recess is the only time when it’s appropriate to play tag.
Apparently it’s “weird” and “not appropriate” and “HR would like to see you” if I tag my coworker and run away giggling.
#6. Bull Rush
If Tag is the more wholesome version of Stuck in the Mud, then Bull Rush is the version that’s as savage as changing your Netflix password after a breakup.
A refresher: one person stood in the middle of a field and tried to tag as many people as possible as they sprinted from one end of the field to the other. The chance for injury was high, but if you made it to the other side without being tagged, you were basically a king or queen of the playground for the rest of recess.
The primary school games we played at recess should honestly be considered national treasures.