I had recess duty. While I wandered from shady spot to shady spot, observing kids as I roamed both playgrounds. I realized I was observing many mini-slices through each mental snapshot I took.
Creative foursquare - you can move the ball with anything, but your hands. A hoot to watch feet, elbows, foreheads, knees, and backsides try to make accurate hits. You don't even need four true squares, any open bit of blacktop will do.
Three students who had been put together for a group project did NOT like the idea of being together. (To the point of asking their parents to request that I switch their group.) I told them that their biggest challenge was not going to be the academics of the project, that they are all very smart. Their biggest challenge was going to be to work together as a team. They saw that this was true over and over and over and over. And then today at recess I see the three of them choosing to play together - just them.
A jumble of girls huddled together, all focused on one girl. Whispering. Turning. Perhaps pointing. More whispering. A few tears. All a sure sign of girl drama. Steer clear!
Third graders awkwardly trying to control a basketball as they dribble across the court. You can always tell what skills are being taught in P.E. as they find their way onto the playground - painfully at first, but their skills grow and so does their enjoyment. Just as they start to get somewhere approaching competent, the unit changes and the awkward stage of a new sport emerges.
And then there are the boys who will play soccer, no matter what!