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Oklahoma has been hammered this spring with thunderstorms, flash flooding and, the song of my people, tornadoes. This type of weather creates what some teachers cringe at-INSIDE RECESS. Giving kids a little too much free time when they are already cooped up is usually a catastrophic combination for those schools that still get recess time. So when the indoor recess days roll out in droves, I try to plan ahead with a little bit more of a directed recess approach. Here are some ideas to help keep some semblance of sanity through what can turn into the longest thirty minutes of the day:
Games: My kids love games. And I’m talking the good old-fashioned kinds of games. We play bingo, blurt, charades, 20 Questions and Rollick, to just name a few. If it is a board game, I usually figure out a way to play it without the board so that my entire class can play at once. I also have games made up that go along with whatever science or social studies units we are working on. This is a great time to play those games as well.
Videos: If you are allowed to show videos “Popular Mechanics For Kids,” “The Magic School Bus,” “Liberty’s Kids,” and “Where Is Carmen San Diego?” are all good choices. These videos are theme-related so if watching a video is a choice you have you can align that choice with your curriculum.
Science Experiments: I love to use this time to engage my kids in some hands-on science fun.
Reader’s Theatre: Again, most of these are theme-related so I will choose one that goes along with social studies or literature that we are discussing.
Art: There are tons of great art projects that are quick to set up, create and clean up.
Read Alouds: Again my kids love to be read to. If I know that we are going to be cooped up for a couple of days I will choose a chapter book that I know will engage the kids not only during our regular read aloud time, but that they will also enjoy listening to at recess.
Interactive whiteboard games: I have a huge selection of these types of games. I can quiz students over skills that we are working on in class and even print out a progress report to send home based on the game. Although this is not as much of a favorite as the old-fashioned games, my kids still enjoy playing these games.
Minute To Win It types of games: There is an entire website based on this game show! The students completely forget about the yucky weather and being stuck inside when I break out Minute To Win It games.
Auditory Games: You know, games like Simon Says, Seven-Up, Mother May I, I Spy, The ABC game. In our digital age, these types of games are almost foreign to kids. Why not bring them back?
Get creative! Our classroom kids love the attention these types of activities include, not to mention that you are actively playing with them, which many kids do not get to experience outside of school. Make indoor recess a time to enjoy your kids!
What other activities do you do during indoor recess?