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5 Fun and Free Indoor Recess Activities

The weather is already starting to change and with the changing weather comes the dreaded Indoor Recess. Often times going to the gym is not an option, so I created this list of easy no prep indoor recess ideas that can be done in the classroom. 1. Follow Along to Just Dance Videos Materials Needed: Projector, teacher computer, internet connection, open space for dancing. My students love the chance to play one of their favorite video games at school. I love that they get some of the exercise that they would have gotten at recess. Many people have made recordings of themselves playing the Just Dance video game and posted them to You Tube. Others can use these recordings to follow along and do the dances without the video game console. Your class won't be able to earn points and the characters will not react to their movements but my class doesn't mind. *Note: Be sure to preview any Just Dance Video you find on You Tube to ensure that the contents are appropriate for your class.

You can find my collection of Just Dance Videos on my Pinterest board below.

2. Board Games Materials Needed: Enough board games and puzzles for students to share in small groups Free time with board games is another of my students favorite indoor recess activities. Games they play frequently at home become fun and new again with a new group of friends to play. At the beginning of the year I ask for donations of unneeded board games from students homes. I also occasionally pick up board games at thrift stores. 3. Heads Up 7-Up Materials Needed: Desks and chairs This game is an oldie but a goodie. I use this game when my class needs some quite time to rest and calm down before we continue with our day. The class puts their heads down on their desks and closes their eyes, leaving one thumb sticking up. 7 students who are "it" quietly circulate around the classroom and tap the thumb of one of their classmates. Students who are chosen put their thumbs down. After each student who is "it" has tagged a classmate they return to the front of the room and the class puts their heads up. The students who were tagged stand and try to guess which if the taggers chose them. If a student is able to correctly guess who chose them they get to have a turn to tag. 4. Silent Ball Materials Needed: A soft ball such as a Nerf Ball The players stand up and spread around the room. Once the game starts all players must be silent. The teacher throws the ball to a student and the students continue throwing the ball to each other. A player must sit down if they: 1. drop the ball, 2. they make a bad throw, 3. they talk or make noise. Play continues until only one player remains. The last player remaining gets to start the next round. In order to keep the players who are out quiet and watching the game, my class knows that if the students who are out start talking the game has to stop. 5. Free Drawing/ Coloring Time Materials Needed: crayons, markers, colored pencils. blank paper, coloring sheets I keep a stack of coloring sheets printed off the internet for emergency indoor recess. My students love the chance to color their favorite characters and see what new coloring sheets I have printed. Other students prefer to just have blank paper and use the time to draw. How do you handle indoor recess in your classroom?

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