No need to panic.
Here are some great ideas on how to handle indoor recess.
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All About Indoor Recess
If it’s too hot, too cold, or too wet outside, you will have indoor recess.
It’s going to happen!
So what do you do?
We’ve got some tips to remember and some activities kids love to make indoor recess easy and fun (for you and your students).
Plan Ahead for Indoor Recess
If you know indoor recess is bound to happen at some point (and you do), you should have a plan.
This will reduce your stress and anxiety at a last-minute “Stay inside” announcement.
In fact, you may be excited to share some of your planned activities and games with your class.
Choices or No Choices for Indoor Recess
To choose or not to choose: that is the question.
Do you want to provide several activities for indoor recess or do you want to involve everyone in a single activity?
That is for you to decide.
Decide which course you’ll take ahead of time by considering the advantages and disadvantages of each.
If you provide multiple choices of activities, then each student is more likely to find something he/she enjoys.
You may increase participation this way.
However, multiple activities are more for you to plan, and the room may become chaotic with many things happening at once.
The pros to having a single, chosen activity are that it is one thing for you to plan.
Everyone is on the same page, and you can build community by working together.
The cons are that the chosen activity may not appeal to everyone (and you may hear some whining to that effect), and also it can be difficult for everyone to participate equally in certain games.
Getting Everyone Involved
The goal of indoor recess is to get everyone involved.
That way everyone has the opportunity to get out of their seats and get moving!
Whole-body movement wakes up the body and refreshes the mind.
When it comes to participation, your choice of activity is key.
Is it fun?
Is it simple enough for all skill levels?
Those are two things to keep in mind.
You can also improve participation if you join in the fun as well.
You are an example to your students in all that you say and do.
If you participate in indoor recess, your students are far more likely to jump in.
Special Games and Activities
Are you looking for indoor recess games that work well?
Check out this list!
Would You Rather Questions
Would You Rather Questions are a flexible classroom tool that work perfectly for indoor recess.
Students don’t have to stay in their seats to play.
They can move to different corners of the room based on their answers.
You don’t have to make up your own questions; we have some fantastic Would You Rather Questions ready to go.
To try them without paying a nickel, check out this free sampler pack.
Download a FREE Would You Rather Sampler Pack to see how much fun it is to use them with your kids!
If you like them, you can try any number of Would You Rather sets, themed for holidays, seasons, and back to school.
For example, the Thanksgiving Would You Rather Questions include fun holiday-themed dilemmas like “Would you rather eat all the green bean casserole or all the cranberry sauce?”
The questions in the holiday and seasonal sets are available in both printable and digital formats, which means you can easily download the digital version and have it ready to play at a moment’s notice.
Freeze dance is a lively, whole-body movement activity. How do you do it?
Play some music and stop it unexpectedly; everyone has to freeze in their current position.
Even reluctant dancers like Freeze Dance because they enjoy seeing their classmate’s hilarious poses.
You could give shout-outs to “best pose” or “most frozen.”
All you need for this game is a balloon and (optionally) some paper plates.
Inflate a balloon and toss it back and forth between two teams.
You can use paper plates as paddles if you want to play badminton-style.
You can also play the game in a round-robin manner to get everyone involved in hitting it back and forth.
This is a quiet game that doesn’t involve much movement, so it therefore works well in a crowded classroom where you don’t have much space.
Send one student out in the hall and hide something in the room.
Then have the student come back in.
Everyone gives the student clues like “hot,” “cold,” or “warm” depending on their proximity to the hidden item.
When they find the item, someone else gets chance to be the seeker.
With interactive videos, you don’t have to facilitate indoor recess.
An app can do that!
GoNoodle has a bunch of videos between 7 and 15 minutes long that are specially designed to get kids moving during indoor recess.
They have videos on all kinds of themes (like holidays, growth mindset, food, and colors), and GoNoodle even has indoor recess videos for tight spaces.
You can access the videos online with a GoNoodle educator account, or you can download the app on the Amazon app store, Apple app store, GooglePlay, Apple TV, and Roku.
Activities for Indoor Recess
Now you know exactly how to handle indoor recess: have a plan, get everyone involved, and have a list of go-to indoor recess games and activities.
Indoor recess may be so much fun, the kids will be happy when it rains!