I think we have all seen the benefits recess has for kids. However, the playground can also be a source of conflict. Books can help! Here are some of my favorite recess books for kids. These include stories about handling bullies, finding a friend, following the rules, cold weather, and learning to get along.
You can click on any of the covers below to learn more about each book or find all of these children’s books about recess on my Amazon page.
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Recess Books for Kids
Whether you’re trying to teach playground etiquette, ways to include others, or how to handle bullies, here are some recess books that can help.
Rulers of the Playground
One morning, Jonah decided to become ruler of the playground. Everyone agreed to obey his rules to play in King Jonah’s kingdom. Everyone except for Lennox . . . because she wanted to rule the playground, too.
The Buddy Bench
Miss Mellon’s class is eager for recess, but on the playground, some children are left out. But kind individuals do notice their peers watching from the sidelines, and after a number of kids express anxieties (ranging from being new to having holey clothes), the students decide to make a “Buddy Bench,” where classmates can sit to let others know that they want to make friends.
The Recess Queen
Mean Jean was Recess Queen and nobody said any different. Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked. Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced. If kids ever crossed her, she’d push ’em and smoosh ’em lollapaloosh ’em, hammer ’em, slammer ’emkitz and kajammer ’em. Until a new kid came to school! With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.
You can find activities to pair with this story here.
Recess at 20 Below
Experience from a kid’s perspective what it is like playing during recess when it is really cold: how the world sounds outside, how it tastes outside, how it looks, and even how it smells when the thermometer says it’s 20 below. Learn about the layer after layer of clothing you have to put on to avoid frostbite before you could hit the playground, the tiny ice crystals you could just see in the air, the loud crunch, crunch, crunch sound your boots make when you walked.
Do NOT Bring Your Dragon to Recess
Dragons are more than just fire and wings. They have outside interests like slides and swings. But can a dragon follow the rules and use proper playground manners at recess? With the help of her best friend she can!
It’s recess! Four letters (O, V, E, and L) race to the playground to claim the swings. In several pages of recess banter and bullying, one letter is told it’s too round, one is from the wrong end of the alphabet, and one is a vowel and therefore not welcome.
What does it take to save the day? Kindness . . . and a heavenly and joyful swing. And what do the letters—friends now because of their shared experience—spell when they finally come back to Earth? LOVE.
King of the Playground
Kevin loves to go to the playground, but not when Sammy is there. And Sammy, who boasts that he is King of the Playground, is there most of the time. If he catches Kevin on the swings or the slide or the monkey bars, Sammy says, he will do awful, terrible things to him. Kevin tells his dad what Sammy says and they talk it over.
And then one day Kevin gets his courage up and goes to the playground even though Sammy says he can’t come in. Even though Sammy tells him to go home. Even though Sammy says he will put Kevin in a cage with bears in it.
Will Kevin stay, or will he go home? How will he deal with Sammy?
Herman Jiggle: It’s Recess, Not Restress!
Herman Jiggle is so stressed out about what happens on the playground, he renames recess restress. Kids are cheating, and there’s too much teasing! Herman Jiggle doesn’t like recess…at all!
Herman gets his arm punched so often playing tag, he is sore the whole day. And his schoolmates are always changing the rules so they can win. These playground problems have Herman so upset, he refuses to go outside.
Can a caring teacher help Herman recapture the fun of recess while losing all the stress? Can Herman gain the confidence and skills he needs to handle playground problems?
Do you have a favorite recess book that didn’t make the list? Let me know so I can check it out!
You might also enjoy:
- Classroom Management Tips for Teachers
- Books That Help Teach Rules and Expectations
- Friendship Books
- Kindness Books
- Books for Kids Who Worry or Have Anxiety
- Books about Manners
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