2nd Edition

101 Playground Games A Collection of Active and Engaging Playtime Games for Children

By Thérèse Hoyle Copyright 2021
    200 Pages 30 Color Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    200 Pages 30 Color Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    101 Playground Games is a collection of active and engaging school playground games that will encourage active learning and social development among children at playtime, this second edition has been updated to include a wealth of new games from around the world.

    The school playground plays a crucial role in developing all aspects of children’s behaviour and interpersonal learning, and yet there is a growing awareness that children today do not play in the same sociable ways as previous generations. Encouraging children to play games can be hugely beneficial not only for their physical health but also for their social, emotional and mental health. 

    This brilliant resource includes a practical toolkit of photocopiable and downloadable materials along with clear instructions for adults on how to organise a range of different types of games, including: 

    traditional games

    chasing and catching games

    singing and dancing games

    skipping games and rhymes

    parachute games

    quiet games

    co-operative games

    Ideal for teachers, lunchtime supervisors, breakfast and after school club leaders as well as group leaders for organisations such as scouts or guides to promote lively and enjoyable games, this book is particularly suited to children aged 5–11 years but can easily be adapted for older children. 101 Playground Games is a book that will make any playtime a richer experience for all.

    Using the Online Resource



    Foreword by Dr. Neil Hawkes


    Why Encourage Children to Play Games?

    How to Use this Book

    1. Traditional Playground Games

    2. Tag Games

    3. Chasing and Catching Games

    4. Singing and Dancing Games

    5. Skipping Games and Rhymes

    6. Circle Games

    7. Parachute Games

    8. Quiet Games

    9. Co-operative Games

    10. Games from Around the World



    Thérèse Hoyle has over 25 years’ experience teaching in mainstream, special and higher education and has worked as an education consultant, coach, wellbeing adviser and trainer with over 495 schools and organisations. She is recognised as the UK’s leading training provider of playtime and lunchtime programmes with her 'How to Be a Lunchtime Supervisor Superhero' workshop and 'Positive Playtime' Masterclasses.

    "A fantastic resource to pep up the playground with fresh ways to think about play. The children love the games and so do the adults!"

    Mrs Alexandra Norton, Headteacher, Bilton Church of England Junior School.

    "This is the ultimate playground games bible for educational settings! It is full of fun, enriching and easy to implement activities and expert advice on the benefits of encouraging young children to play. Using this book in my setting has created a positive atmosphere by empowering pupils, boosting self-confidence and inevitably enhancing the health and wellbeing of the school community."

    Sam Yeomans, Teacher, Hurst Green Primary School.

    "This is a truly amazing book, full of games to engage and inspire the children and lunchtime team to have a happy and enjoyable playtime."

    John Wilson, Senior Play Leader.

    "I recommend that each school should have a Thérèse Hoyle on its staff, to ensure that children have access to the joy and learning contained in this outstanding book.

    Reading her superb and comprehensive book about playground games, has awakened my imagination, which has run wild, as I have remembered the pleasures of the playground games experienced during my own childhood. I became an eight-year-old again playing, ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ at Lethbridge Road Primary School in Swindon. Characters from my childhood were remembered, as I saw myself playing ‘stuck in the mud’. Thank you Thérèse!

    During my long career as an educator, I have had the privilege of visiting what now must amount to thousands of schools in many parts of the world. I have learned much from my visits but most of all I have learned of the importance of play as the foundation of the curriculum in Primary Schools. What I consider to be the best schools, give a range of first-hand experiences to children, which include four golden keys: being immersed in experiencing and understanding nature, leaning about values, realising the importance of developing and maintaining relationships and experiencing the joy of play. These four keys, result is a human being who is truly educated: observant, curious, knowledgeable, altruistic, compassionate, joyful and playful.

    Not all children live in families and communities that encourage games, perhaps because living conditions are not conducive for outdoor group games. It is therefore so very important that schools provide adequate time and resources for playground games. In some schools, playtime has been reduced to concentrate more on the so-called formal curriculum. This, in my opinion, is a huge educational mistake and an assault on children and their natural development.

    With the demands of social distancing during social and health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have to be even more imaginative to enable children to experience the richness of playground games. Thérèse’s unique book is a must have book for schools and a wonderful resource for families and community groups working with children."

    Dr. Neil Hawkes, Founder of Values-based Education.

    "Children’s play is a profoundly important part of their lives – socially, emotionally, culturally and developmentally. If they are given enough space, it also happens to be very good for their physical health and fitness. Play is nowhere more important than at school, where children spend such a large amount of time. The counter-balancing freedom and autonomy after the order and discipline of the classroom, the chance to let off steam, but also the opportunity to explore and develop vital social skills have been a key function of playtime since children have been going to school. Playground games are an important part of this tradition and a give us a fascinating insight into the world of the child. Like children themselves, these games are complex and simple, spontaneous and highly ordered, metaphorical and extremely literal. Most of all they are huge fun. Their decline is a sad indictment of the skewed priorities we place on the modern child. I welcome this book and commend it to parents and teachers everywhere."

    Adrian Voce, OBE Former Play England Director, advocate for children’s play and author of Policy for Play.

    "This new edition of 101 Playground Games is a brilliant resource! For anyone who works with children, this book provides a plethora of fun playground games, old and new, to teach children, all of which have been tried and tested! The book is broken into categories of games including traditional, tag, skipping, circle, singing and dancing games, and quiet games. As well as clear ‘how to play’ instructions, each game has information on time taken to play, age range, ideal numbers and any equipment needed... An excellent and practical tool for anyone working with nursery and primary-age children." - Stephen Leitch, The School Librarian