Baby it’s getting cold, wet, rainy, or too snowy outside! No matter where you live, weather can take the joy out of recess in a hurry! That’s why it’s so important to have indoor recess activities planned for those days when Mother Nature doesn’t want to play very nice. Today, I have seven different ways you can save your sanity and have fun with your students when you are stuck indoors for recess.
Why You Need Indoor Recess Activities
When you know recess isn’t going to happen, it can be easy to let that lesson run over just a little bit. While I totally get it, it’s important to NOT let that happen. Just like us, students need a brain break as well as some time just to decompress. That’s why I use these seven indoor recess activities for just that: indoor recess. By having these activities on standby, I am always ready. Plus, because I only use them for indoor recess activities,they never get old!
1: Create Some Art!
Anything art related my students went absolutely crazy for! There were times when my students were excited to stay inside because they got to do art. Even if you have art class as a special, being able to create free art in the classroom is so fun because there are no rules! When my students get to have art time in the classroom, they have total creative freedom. In addition, they can use art supplies like water colors that we don’t always get to use.
You can also do anything with a direct draw for an indoor recess activity. Finding directed draws is easy! I personally love Muffalo Potato on YouTube because you can learn to draw with letters and numbers!
2: Bring Out Fun Centers for Indoor Recess
Now, you all know I love centers! However, these are not your traditional centers that you would get for literacy or math. No way! These are the fun centers that have everything to do with learning (or relaxing) through play. For these centers you want to bring out the Legos, bring out the games, or bring anything that is in this list! All you need to do is use your center rotation that your students are already so great at. Don’t be afraid to have larger groups if you choose this method because it is indoor recess, they are allowed to be a little loud.
3: Win Indoor Recess with Games!
Indoor recess activities would not be complete without games! Break out Guess Who?, charades, matching games, and more! Having games in a variety of stations or as a whole class indoor recess activity is always a great brain break. When you use games, however, make sure they aren’t games that take forever to set up. If the game takes too long to set up, students will have taken all their time just setting up which is no fun for them or you.
4: STEM Into Indoor Recess Activities
I know, STEM is learning, but isn’t all play technically? One of the things I love to do for an indoor recess activity is to break out the STEM activities we don’t always get to play. One activity you can do is a stacking the cup relay. Get some cups and number them. Then put students into teams and have them stack the cups and tear them down. After one person has gone, they tag the next to do something else or maybe the same thing.
You can even give a small prize to the team that wins! Remember the guidelines on prizes though! Don’t offer too much because you’ll have to take them to Disney World eventually.
5: Move it!
One of the things that is fantastic about recess is students get to get up and moving! When we have indoor recess, that doesn’t need to change. You might not be outside; however, you can keep moving by playing musical chairs, having a dance party, or do some fun exercise videos online! You can also do egg races with plastic Easter eggs or real eggs if you’re brave! There are endless ways you can keep kids moving! Hear more by checking out my Facebook Live!
6: Log Into Kahoot!
Another great indoor recess activity is a premade Kahoot that you can easily find in a pinch. While there are a ton of educational reviews on Kahoot, there are also some just fun trivial games! From Frozen trivia to Paw Patrol, you’ll be able to find something your students will love flexing their knowledge on.
7: Try to ESCAPE Indoor Recess!
Now, this does require a little bit of planning if you want to create your own. However, you can find Escape Room online on Teachers Pay Teachers or in several other places. While many Escape Rooms are educational, there are many out there that are just for fun! You can also create puzzles for students to figure out in order to Escape something you created yourself. The sky’s the limit with these fun activities!
No matter what has you trapped inside, it’s important to give your students and yourself a break from learning. Using indoor recess activities that can be ready in an instant are a great way for you to use that time while holding onto your sanity!
Until Next Time…
Keep Being Educational Rock Stars