At HomeAmanda Vaden
9 Recess Games for Social Distancing with Sphero

If your child is new to hybrid learning due to the pandemic, there is one simple (but necessary) educational program that could be lost while learning from home: recess.

In the traditional classroom setting, recess gives your child the opportunity to optimize their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development — not to mention it gives educators a much-needed break.

However, when your child is learning remotely, it’s up to you to keep them busy with structured play during breaks from educational instruction. Talk about a lot of responsibility and supervision!

Fortunately, the play-based learning experts at Sphero are here to take some heavy lifting off your shoulders during this unusual school year. While there are plenty of resources to discover new ways to keep hybrid learning interesting and support your kid's active lifestyle, these STEAM-based learning activities are perfect for at-home recess. With these exercises and games, your child can capitalize on whole-brain learning while having a whole lot of fun with Sphero’s educational tools and programmable robots.

Oh, did we mention you’ll get to take a break, too?

1. The Masked Sphero

Going to school during a pandemic can be a confusing time for students, especially when it comes to explaining changes in our daily routines to prevent germ transmission. With The Masked Sphero, you can easily explain why wearing a mask in public spaces is necessary. 

Sphero logo wearing a teal colored mask.

Prior to recess, describe the history and importance of cloth face coverings and how wearing a mask can help protect others by minimizing airborne bacteria. Then, during recess, your child can create a mask out of tissue paper for their Sphero BOLT to protect its sensor against incoming light. This activity provides a direct representation of how germs can spread more easily without face coverings. 

2. Sphero Long Jump

Recess should be about learning and fun, which is why Sphero Long Jump is the perfect activity for remote learners. Before the break, have your child learn about what the long jump is and how science and math can be used to maximize jumping distance. Then, with just a few craft supplies, they can create an adjustable, homemade ramp and a DIY long jump pit for their Sphero robot. 

Bonus: This activity could even be split into two different recesses or breaks, as your child could build their course during one break and launch their Sphero robot the next!

3. Keep Your Distance!

In addition to teaching your child the benefits of wearing a face covering, it’s also important to teach them social distancing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). With this blended classroom activity, your child can use recess to turn two BOLTs into measuring devices, which helps make understanding social distancing fun and easy. This activity also explores the practical applications of infrared communication, showcasing how it’s an inexpensive way to wirelessly send a signal.

A girl lies on the floor near her laptop while wearing a mask and measuring distance with a yard stick.

4. Draw 1: Shapes

Drawing is a fun recess activity that exercises your child’s creativity, but what about drawing that also teaches them the fundamentals of coding? With this hybrid learning game, your child will be introduced to the Draw canvas by drawing shapes that represent code. Then, they can execute that code with their Sphero robot. 

What’s even more fun? Your child will be able to create their very own robot design for their drawing.

5. Safe Supply Transporter

Learning about community is a fundamental aspect to understanding the purpose of social distancing and wearing face coverings. With the Safe Supply Transporter game, your child can learn about compassion while discovering how to make their community a better place. Utilizing the Sphero RVR and colored construction paper, your child can program RVR’s color sensor to transport supplies to you or a sibling.

6. Bridge Challenge 

This blended classroom activity can also be used for at least two at-home recesses! The challenge starts with your child researching and learning about different types of bridges used in architecture. Then, using common household belongings or craft supplies — such as tape, string, glue, and popsicle sticks — they can build a bridge to drive their Sphero robot across

7. Sphero Baby Steps

Learning to code can be a challenge, which is why Sphero Baby Steps is the perfect hybrid learning activity for beginners. During recess from home, your child will learn about a program function, which is like a mini-program within a larger program. Then, using this program, they will make “baby steps” blocks to learn the basics of programming a Sphero robot.

8. Hand Washing Timer

Along with face coverings and social distancing, it’s important to teach your child the first line of defense against germs and bacteria: hand washing. Using littleBits, this recess activity challenges your at-home learner to create a circuit containing a power source, inputs, and outputs. Then, they will put together an invention that counts to 20 seconds (the CDC’s recommended amount of time for effective hand washing) and indicates when the time is up. 

Hands being washed with lots of soapy bubbles.

9. Back to the Future 

In this exciting STEAM activity, your child will use recess to recreate the Delorean time machine from the “Back to the Future” movies! First, they will program RVR to accelerate to a speed of 88 to time travel. Then, they will build their very own invention with the littleBits RVR Topper Kit, which triggers a buzzer when RVR is safely back to the future. This activity will demonstrate how RVR’s color sensor works and how your child can program it, as well as how RVR’s infrared signal can trigger events. 

Make At-home Play Stress-free With These Fun Recess Games & Hybrid Activities

If your child is new to a hybrid learning environment, it’s important to ensure they have constructive breaks from their curriculum while learning from home. And, with help from Sphero’s remarkably cool programmable robots and STEAM-based educational tools and activities, at-home recess can be educational, entertaining, and require no supervision — which gives you the time you need to focus on work. 

To discover more at-home recess games and STEAM activities for your child’s hybrid learning environment, check out our guide to at-home learning

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