Oh, the weather outside is frightful but indoor recess can be delightful! With a little planning and clear structure, indoor recess can let you and your students have the downtime you need to refresh and reset for the rest of the day.
Here are some engaging indoor recess activities that will keep your students both mentally and physically busy:
Create Your Own Makerspace
Grab your home recycling, some duct tape and other crafty odds-and-ends and challenge your students to make something. Makerspaces – places where students are encouraged to experiment, design and build whatever their imagination dreams up –have started to grow in popularity. The hands-on experience teaches students science and engineering concepts while encouraging teamwork and problem solving. The best part about makerspaces is that you don’t need a fancy lab or expensive materials to create one. Challenge your class to make the ultimate roller coaster or a maze for a HEXBUG. The project possibilities are endless and will probably take several recess periods to complete. Allow kids to keep the excitement going by having them bring recyclable items from home to replenish your supplies.
Make Art, Not Boredom
Send out a call to your favorite art teacher down the hall. Ask for a classroom set of art supplies like paints, brushes, paper and makers. Then set up stations where kids can try their hand at drawing or creating easy art pieces by following along with how-to videos. You can find a plethora of art lessons for any grade level on YouTube. Many of my favorites are from Cassie Stephens. Her YouTube art lessons are made so kids can easily follow along. Before you know it, your students will have a nice collection of masterpieces to take home or to decorate the classroom.
Maybe you’ve got a class that needs recess time to move, but your tight classroom space just isn’t big enough to accommodate that. Check out Wellness Way, a set of cool resources that can help you create a structured exercise path in your hallway or common area. For those who need a mental refresh instead of a physical one, Wellness Way also includes prompts to encourage positive thoughts and uplift your mood.
Team Up with Colleagues
If each teacher on your team offers a different indoor recess experience, arrange for students to rotate from class to class. The change of scenery will keep students excited and engaged. Being able to leave the physical confines of your classroom to go to a less familiar one may be just the change up your students need to rest and reset before hitting the books again.
Indoor recess doesn’t have to be frightful. With some planning, teamwork and creativity, it can be truly delightful!
Gain more tips and resources through the lively student discussions that happen in American College of Education classes. Explore our graduate-level programs in the field of education.