It’s Snowing Outside, What Can I Do in the Classroom?
So you can’t go outside and play because it’s too cold or there’s too much snow, but you still want kids to have some fun. No worries! There are plenty of indoor activities that will keep their minds and bodies busy during this time. Here are 40 indoor recess games for your classroom.
1. Crazy Eights
Draw a card from the hand pile, if the card has a vowel on it then you need to take another turn but if there is not a vowel on it then the player needs to draw two cards from the hand pile and discard two cards from either their hand or from those in front of them. The player who goes out before all the cards run out wins.
Learn more: Ducksters
2. Kid’s Scavenger Hunt
Give each student a bag or box that is full of things for they to find that are found in your classroom such as colored pencils, books, crayons, etc. When they have found all the items then they can turn in their “treasure” bag and get another clue to go find more items to complete the scavenger hunt.
Learn more: Kenarry
3. Rock, Paper, Scissors
This is a great game to have students either pair up or do it individually. You just teach one of these moves at a time and then have everyone play the game. The kids love learning the different rock, paper, or scissors moves.
Learn more: Wikipedia
4. Dance Freeze
With this game divide students into small groups and give each group one of these objects (banana, spoon, empty potato chip bag, etc.). Tell them they can’t talk and when the music stops they need to hold up their object and dance like crazy around the room until you say stop.
Learn more: Playwork
5. Flower Power
This is a great way to use the art and craft materials you have in your classroom. You need to teach only one move at a time. It’s pretty easy so even a younger child will have fun with this game. Students just need to make a flower arrangement with their own hands.
Learn more: Early Learning
6. Shoey’s Ballet
Students dance with partners around the room and as they do they tap their feet on the ground in rhythm and it makes music.
Learn more: Dance Art
7. Superhero School Musical
Have an audition for the musical and you need to give a mini-presentation about yourself. Then put into a hat who will play the superhero. Then have your class act out their part as if they were on stage.
Learn more: Fun Orange County Parks
8. White Elephant Party
Instead of giving gifts, this is all about trading with family, friends or classmates.
Learn More: Rules
9. Simon Says
You can do this game in individual rooms or in large groups depending on the number of children in your classroom; but you need to make sure that everything is safe, quiet and controlled for younger children.
Learn More: Ideas for kids
You can play this game in any number of small groups or as a large group. Just have all the kids stand up and then they need to run around and try to tag each other.
Learn more: Britannica
11. Chalk Talk
This game is great for small groups because you can easily do it on the carpet or in a corner of your classroom with all the chalk and easel paper you have in your classroom; but make sure it’s safe, quiet and that everyone is following the rules of your classroom. This is a great way for students to learn how to write neatly with perfect formation.
Learn more: Teachers Network
12. Bean Bag Toss
Give each student a number and then have them collect bean bags from a box. The students will try to get their bag into number order by tossing them into the bucket on the other side of your classroom.
Learn More: Rules
13. Pick Up Sticks
Pile up at least 10 sticks that have been stripped of the bark and then have students take turns trying to pick up one stick at a time without upsetting or moving the other sticks.
Learn more: Rules
14. Backwards Walk in Line
You need to line up your class in two lines facing away from each other (one line goes left and one line goes right). Then have one student walk backwards the entire length of the line.
Learn More: Starfish
15. I Spy
Have a bunch of pieces of paper and pick out an object to hide inside one of the papers and then have students guess what it is by writing on their paper what they think it is.
Learn More: Rules
16. Invisible Ink
Make a type of invisible ink with a piece of black permanent marker, then have students write letters or numbers on other papers (see above). Then tell them that they need to put their papers in different containers so no one else can read their writing.
Learn More: Make Invisible Ink
17. Sock Puppets
Put together a sock puppet and then have students take turns telling their favorite story or describing themselves.
Learn more: How to make sock puppets
19. Just the Facts
Divide your class up into small groups of three to five kids and they need to write down as many past, present, and future facts about themselves as they can think of.
Learn More: Education
20. Classmate Chat
You will need a list of questions (such as name, age, favorite color, etc.) that you ask your students on paper and them pass it around and have them answer the questions on the paper in their own words. You will want to make sure you have a good mix of questions and that the student answers don’t contain too much or too little information. You will want to make sure to pick questions that aren’t too difficult for your kids to answer.
Learn more: Teach This
21. Letters And Sounds Activities
The ABCs are an important part of learning as well as reading. We used the Playdough mats with the flashcards for our letter of the week for help with identifying letters and sounds when we were first learning our letters. We used playdough to help us with identifying letters by rolling out the playdough.
Learn more: Reading Pockets
22. Whose Letter Now?
This game is great for those students that struggle with identifying the letters or sounds of their name. This is a great introduction to “Whose Letter Now?” In order to make sure students can identify the letters and sounds of their name they will need to have them practice this skill.
Learn more: Rock’n Learn
23. Color Coding
We used this in our class after we had previously learned our letters and were trying to associate a name with their initial. We needed a fun game that would allow us to practice linking letters with sounds and this was one of our favorites.
Learn more: Teaching
24. Picture Connections
This is another game that was great for those students that were struggling with the concept of letters and sounds. They really enjoyed picking out cards that matched the picture in the books in front of them even if it didn’t match the initial letter for their name.
Learn More: Galarious
25. Letter Matching Game
This is a classic game that has been around for many years and it’s never gotten old for us! We use these boards to practice matching letters with anything names and numbers with them as well. You can make your own board using our template.
Learn More: Simply Kinder
25. First Letters
This game is great for finger isolation and practice because it’s fun to play. You can use this while you are learning the first letter of your name, student numbers, or even just learning the first letter of new words to help them with identifying which letters they will find in any given word.
Learn More: ESL Kid
26. Alphabet Ball Toss
This is a classic game that we have used many times with our students; but we use an alphabet ball instead of tossing an actual ball.
Learn more: Hands On
27. Cup Stackers
Practice spelling or saying the names in your class by stacking cups (we like using jumbo plastic cups from the dollar store).
Learn More: We Are Teachers
28. Printable Alphabet Flash Cards
Print out our alphabet cards for your students to use for learning their letters. They are already cut out so it’s easier to cut them apart and you can use them over and over again as many times as you need. See printable alphabet here.
Learn more: Teaching Aunt
29. Cut And Paste Games
We used these printables in our own classroom while we were learning how to write our names, numbers, words, etc. They are great for practicing our cutting skills, fine motor skills, reading, and identifying letters and sounds.
Learn More: Turtle Diary
30. Play With Play-Doh Mats
After we learned our letters during a specific week, we used these mats to help us identify the letter by squeezing the play dough.
Learn more: Miss Kindergarten
31. Make Your Pizza Letters
This classic game is great for learning those letters that may be too similar to tell apart. We did this activity using pictures of common foods (we used this printable) so it would be something that our students could easily relate to.
Learn More: Totschooling
32. Fortune Teller
We attached paper to a fortune teller and then wrote number in each section. Then we gave our students fortunes by telling them where they needed to find their number. Many of our students loved to do this activity because it was fun and challenging at the same time. They especially loved it when we let them write their own numbers in the blank spaces to make up their own fortune! Just remember, if you use this idea, to take out one of the cards before you show your class so they can’t predict your card!
Learn More: Doing Good Together
33. Word Hunt
Another fun game that we did was use our printable word hunt pages and use real words from our classroom. We used this game during spelling to practice what we had learned during that week. The kids really liked getting to go around the room and find different words for points. The best part of this game is you can do it over and over again!
Learn More: Gamesver
34. Roll It and Read It
We used these printables to make it easier for our students to practice identifying letters and numbers. We print out the sheets with the corresponding letter or number on them. Then we attach them to toilet paper or paper towel rolls (depending where you are at in your learning). Since the skin on some people’s fingers is sensitive or doesn’t have enough grip, this works great for helping them identify their letters or numbers without having to deal with a lot of frustration.
Learn More: Teach Run Create
35. Place Value Game
This is a fun game to play if you have just started learning place value or if your child is just learning how to read. We used the place value chips and the dots in different colors to match up with our numbers.
Learn more: Measured Mom
36. Memory Game
We use this game to practice our memory skills. This is a great way to practice in your classroom because it doesn’t take up a lot of time, but can be very helpful for reinforcing your students as they practice identifying their letters and numbers.
Learn More: Curious World
37. Thumbprint Matching Game
The kids love this game because they get mixed up with their thumbs in a lot of places and it sometimes feels like there is a constant wait while they try to find the right spot! We used these printables (see below) to help them identify their thumbprint!
Learn More: Parenting
38. Bag Snack Activity
Use this fun snack activity to reinforce student names, numbers, or even words… just make sure to stick the bag back in the same spot after you have finished using it.
Learn More: juggling with kids